A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
HOTEL PAPER, Michelle Branch's follow-up to her platinum debut album, The Spirit Room, includes the featured track \"Are You Happy Now?\" and is enhanced with six videos -- from both the studio and live performances from [email protected]. There's also a Michelle Branch photo gallery, so fans have a lot to sink their teeth into. The songs are well produced and well crafted. Shining moments are \"Love Me Like That\" (a duet with Sheryl Crow) and \"Breathe,\" hailed by many reviewers as the next hit. The overall message is that of a bittersweet look inside a young girl's heart. If a little bland, it's also nicely delivered, and feels authentic enough.
Is it any good?
The music showcases Branch's voice and her acoustic guitar playing. Both are consistently lovely, if unremarkable. The album's greatest weakness is monotony -- both in the music and in the message; the songs all start sounding and feeling the same after a while, less carefree than some of her previous work. Would it be so terrible if this extremely talented, attractive, and successful young musician seemed to be having a little more fun? Where's Carlos Santana when we need him?