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4.8 15
by Melissa Etheridge
Like Bruce Springsteen -- to whom she's often been compared -- Melissa Etheridge is at her best when she's trying to get something off her chest. And on this sometimes stark, sometimes overwrought disc, she's got plenty of passion-filled subject matter, chiefly the crumbling of her lengthy romance with filmmaker Julie Cypher. Skin


Like Bruce Springsteen -- to whom she's often been compared -- Melissa Etheridge is at her best when she's trying to get something off her chest. And on this sometimes stark, sometimes overwrought disc, she's got plenty of passion-filled subject matter, chiefly the crumbling of her lengthy romance with filmmaker Julie Cypher. Skin is a startlingly personal affair, from the withering lyrics that punctuate "Lover Please" to the yearning expressed on the poignant, anthemic "I Want to Be in Love." In sharp contrast to recent outings, Etheridge doesn't rely on the raw power of a full band to shore up her compositions: In fact, with the exception of a handful of drum tracks, virtually every note on Skin -- guitar, keyboard, harmonica -- is Melissa's doing. At times, that makes for a gentler, more introspective sound (as evidenced by the introspective "Walking on Water") than one usually associates with Etheridge, but don't assume that she can't rock out all by herself; the country-blues wail of "The Prison" proves otherwise. While dominated by dark tones, Skin is ultimately a redemptive journey rather than a mope-fest: By closing with the hopeful "Heal Me," Etheridge indicates that blue skies await over the horizon.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Kerry L. Smith
If ever there was a perfect breakup album, this is it. Skin is Melissa Etheridge's first album since she split with her long-term partner and it takes you on a tour of the hurt, healing, and the journey of making sense of it all. Travel through the pain, longing, and lamenting along with Etheridge herself as she goes "looking for a little salvation." In her own raw, strength-of-heart style and that husky voice of hers, Etheridge sings about the long, trying process that one usually undergoes in order to find the answers, forgiveness, and clues about losing and staying in the game of love. The opening track, "Lover Please," is an aggressive tune where your heroine, wounded heart in hand, sings with true emotion, asking, "Didn't I love you right?" On the track "The Prison," Etheridge sings in a quavering and romantic voice about her torment, while she is "trying to get out of my skin." Etheridge's harmonica playing on this track is so potent, it makes it all the more harder to swallow. Yet as the songs progress, so does Etheridge's strength. Known for her sensibility for raw emotion, Etheridge delivers nothing less. And on the nostalgic track "Walking on Water," you can sense that she is gaining some footing on her pain and beginning to pick herself up again. But the ballad-like "Down to One" knocks your heart out with one whack as she croons, "my heart is a traitor." Back to square one. The album climaxes and Etheridge sorts through her demons with simple, heart-felt lyrics that hit the spot right through to the truth. Etheridge gets funky on the groovy track "Goodnight" and the fresh-sounding, freewheelin' "I Want to Be in Love." But it is her unbridled honesty that drives this album right into your gut. Etheridge is not alone in her plight through anger, confusion, yearnings for forgiveness, acceptance, and the process of starting over. She reveals the depth of her pain on the dark track "Heal Me." Like love, this album simply leaves that infamously ambiguous mystery lingering in the air: Why do people pay so much for love? And Etheridge does it with such conviction, you cannot help but listen closely.

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Skin 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just recently attended her concert in Montreal on August 19th, 2001. The concert was awesome, it left nothing unsaid. I couldnt wait to purchase the album. Melissa is back with more force and compassion, and desire then ever before
Guest More than 1 year ago
Most people crawl under a rock when they've been hurt but not Melissa Etheridge she takes her hurt and turns out killer music, the first time I heard ''Breakdown'' I groaned She'll never be able to top this cd! I was so wrong..not since 93's ''Yes I am'' have I ever heard such raw emotion on one cd..I have met Melissa many times and this is truly a classy cd from a classy lady..
Guest More than 1 year ago
The best album is one that takes the listener on a journey. Skin does that, and more. From the first note of track 1 the listener is brought into a world of pain. By the end of the album you'll be singing triumphantly in your victory over the trials and tribulations of love.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Melissa has once again proven that she is not a formulatic songwriter. With each and every release, she contiunes to surprise us with yet another breakthrough... another facet of her immense talent... and the ability to perform and excel at any musical style she wishes, as she demonstrates on ''Skin'' with ''The Different'' (I smell a single!), ''Down To One'', and ''The Prison''. Personally, I have been a fan since the very first time I heard ''Bring Me Some Water'', and I thought that she would never be able to top her incredible debut release. With ''Breakdown'', I was proven wrong and it remains my favorite of ehr seven releases, but ''Skin'' is very close to tying the top spot on my list. If there is any disappointment here whatsoever, it is that in a recent VH-1 concert, ''Live And Alone'', Melissa performed ''Please Forgive Me'' with only her passionate voice and an electric piano. Here, though still powerful and beautiful, the song is diminished in heartbreaking honesty by unnecessary instrumentation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best album Melissa has done, period. It's a mix of rock, blues and just pure raw, unadulterated emotion. The second track, ''Prison'' echoes shades of Bob Dylan with the prevalent harmonica in the background and is one of the best tracks. Overall, a journey not to be missed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have all of Melissa's albums and by far, this one is the best. She has gone back to her ''old'' familar sound which made her known, but has also added new touches. I love it. I love the subtle touches of newness. I love the return to her origional strong, powerful sound. It's beyond terrific.
Guest More than 1 year ago
great album, shows melissa's vulnerablity and her passion!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved clicking on her cover ''Skin''. She has the charisma and sound to send some of us over the edge. I am hoping to see her in Seattle and love looking at her and hearing her on stage. Her songs tell of her life and spirit that people can relate to and appreciate. Go Melissa!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mellisa has been through alot, and the music tells it. Plus it lets us all feel that first kiss all over again with her music. All of us FAMILY girls thank you, and keep on ROCKIN'!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
She has not disappointed. Her unbridled talent and raw emotional energy rings true with every note and lyric. I have all seven albums and find this to be her best yet. I am looking forward to many more years of her music. ''Bonnie Rait'' gives me hope that Melissa will be going strong well into the second half of her life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Melissa serves up heartbreak with style. All the songs are full of power and longing to be whole again. The last song of the cd ''Heal Me'' is the full circle from anger to salvation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This record fell a little short of my expectations. I'm a big melissa etheridge fan but felt she missed the mark on this one. I think she was too wrapped up in getting things off her chest and not so concerned about writing a solid song.
Guest More than 1 year ago
''SKIN'' is by far Melissa's best CD to date. Powerful and emotional are words that come to mind.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really like this new CD by Melissa. ''I want to be loved'' and ''Different'' are lyrics I can relate to. This CD sounds like it was written during difficult times and this is the best time to create such strong feelings.. ''Good Work, Mel''
Anonymous More than 1 year ago