Hotel Paper

Hotel Paper

4.5 52
by Michelle Branch
     
 

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With 2001's sleeper hit The Spirit Room, Michelle Branch offered a more cerebral alternative to the teen-pop fare of Britney and Christina and unwittingly ushered in a young singer-songwriter chick revolution. Since then, Avril has proclaimed her punk-ness, fellow piano gal See more details below

Overview

With 2001's sleeper hit The Spirit Room, Michelle Branch offered a more cerebral alternative to the teen-pop fare of Britney and Christina and unwittingly ushered in a young singer-songwriter chick revolution. Since then, Avril has proclaimed her punk-ness, fellow piano gal Norah Jones scored multiple Grammys, and Branch doppelganger Vanessa Carlton endeared TRL fans with her passionate ivory tickling. Not to be outdone by her growing competition, however, Branch was savvy enough to collaborate with Carlos Santana on the irresistible hit single "The Game of Love." After traveling for two years prior to recording her sophomore disc, Branch realized she'd scribbled most of her new lyrics on Hotel Paper. On the slightly edgier record, the 20-year-old stays true to her sunny, acoustic guitar pop roots but digs deeper lyrically to address universal themes of heartbreak ("Are You Happy Now?"), loneliness ("Where Are You Now?"), and forbidden love ("Desperately"). She probably intended the latter track to ache with, well, desperation, but it's hard to take the adolescent-sounding Branch seriously as a vamp. Still, she manages to hold her own with former tour mate Sheryl Crow on the bluegrass-driven "Love Me like That." On "Where Are You Now?" the exotic beauty admits, "I write about the things I'll never know / And I can't find a moment just to slow down." But that's a good thing. Although she lacks Pink's angst and Jennifer Love Hewitt's sex appeal, the more this blossoming Branch experiences, the more she'll grow as an artist and a woman.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Part of the appeal of Michelle Branch on her 2001 debut, The Spirit Room, was that she came across as a spirited normal girl with an enthusiasm for music. She wasn't teasingly sexy like Britney Spears, nor was she a brat like the then-unknown Avril Lavigne; she felt like a real teenager, something that was enhanced by her direct songs and earnest vocals, which were the furthest thing from flashy. Sure, The Spirit Room could be a little too polished at times, but it was tempered by her eagerness to make a record, so it turned out quite endearing. But like many second albums, her sophomore affair, Hotel Paper, finds Branch two years older and a whole lot more "mature," in the sense that any remnants of that adolescent passion have been removed as she positions herself as a serious singer/songwriter in the adult alternative vein. Branch remains appealing -- her blend of pop and mild roots rock sounds good and she has a nice, plainspoken charm and straight-ahead voice. She duets with Sheryl Crow on the record's best track, "Love Me Like That." Taken on the surface, Hotel Paper is fine -- it's big and shiny and it glides as easy as tunes on an adult alternative radio station on a summer's day.
Blender - Alan Light
Although Hotel Paper is hardly her attempt at a PJ Harvey record, it does admirably introduce rougher edges to the sunny demeanor that characterized her debut.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/24/2003
Label:
Maverick
UPC:
0093624842620
catalogNumber:
48426
Rank:
64508

Related Subjects

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Michelle Branch   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Percussion
Kenny Aronoff   Drums
Paul Bushnell   Bass
Luis Conte   Percussion
John Leventhal   Bass,Guitar,Keyboards
Jamie Muhoberac   Keyboards
Dave Navarro   Guitar
Shawn Pelton   Drums
Patrick Warren   Keyboards
Greg Wells   Organ,Bass,Guitar,Piano,Wurlitzer
Dan Rothchild   Bass
RIck DePofi   Percussion
John Shanks   Bass,Guitar
Mike Elizondo   Bass
Stuart Smith   Mandolin
Josh Abraham   Keyboards
Chris Chaney   Bass
Brian McCleod   Drums

Technical Credits

Chris Reynolds   Engineer
David Campbell   String Arrangements
Daniel Chase   Engineer
Marc DeSisto   Engineer
Brian Gardner   Mastering
John Leventhal   Producer
Brian Scheuble   Engineer
Greg Wells   Producer
RIck DePofi   Producer,Engineer
Lars Fox   Engineer
John Shanks   Composer,Producer
Ryan Williams   Engineer
Josh Abraham   Programming,Producer
Michelle Branch   Composer
Jeff Rothschild   Engineer

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