When I Look Down That Road

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Dave Gil de Rubio
Melissa Manchester's first record in nine years, When I Look Down That Road, heralds the return of a highly regarded composer rediscovering her muse -- and creating a collection of sophisticated, adult pop that would please today's Norah Jones fans. Producers Kevin DeRemer and Stephan Oberhoff maintain an organic feel throughout, as Manchester's songs about the art of compromise in relationships ("Bend"), her late father ("Still Myself"), and the post?September 11th world (the title cut) all benefit from delicately strummed guitar and atmospheric pump organ. Still possessing a warm and pliable voice after all these years, the Bronx native experiments with new ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Dave Gil de Rubio
Melissa Manchester's first record in nine years, When I Look Down That Road, heralds the return of a highly regarded composer rediscovering her muse -- and creating a collection of sophisticated, adult pop that would please today's Norah Jones fans. Producers Kevin DeRemer and Stephan Oberhoff maintain an organic feel throughout, as Manchester's songs about the art of compromise in relationships ("Bend"), her late father ("Still Myself"), and the post–September 11th world (the title cut) all benefit from delicately strummed guitar and atmospheric pump organ. Still possessing a warm and pliable voice after all these years, the Bronx native experiments with new sounds and subject matter, as on the samba-like "When Paris Was a Woman" and the live bonus track, "A Mother's Prayer," about the horrific events at Columbine High School. Equally compelling are Manchester's collaborations with guest Keb' Mo' (the bluesy pop of "After All This Time") and compositional partners Paul Williams (the Sade-flavored "Crazy Loving You") and Beth Nielsen-Chapman (the light Dixieland strut "Lucky Break"). With When I Look Down That Road, Manchester has found her way back to the path of sharply executed songcraft.
All Music Guide - Aaron Latham
In the opening line of her album When I Look Down That Road, Melissa Manchester basically sums up the latter half of her career: "I've been walking through the smoke of a thousand burned-out dreams, so hard to shake the ashes of the past from my feet." As she knows all too well, there are sad circumstances in which the business of music envelops an artist so tightly that the creativity and passion are sealed away. In the '70s, Manchester blossomed as an important singer/songwriter responsible for such classics as "Midnight Blue," "Whenever I Call You Friend," and "Don't Cry Out Loud." But as her album sales began to decline, the corporate machinery began to take hold of her career and her original songs were left along the wayside to make way for glossy pop songs and sappy ballads written by "hitmakers." As a songwriter, she had all but disappeared. Leaving the recording studio after 1995's over-produced If My Heart Had Wings, Manchester spent almost a decade regrouping and getting in touch with the artist who had been lost for so many years. Reaching back to a time when the songwriting was just as important as the singer, Manchester reconnected with herself and recorded When I Look Down That Road, her first album of original material since 1978's Don't Cry Out Loud. In a welcome return to form, she has stripped away the many layers of bloated production and overwrought balladry that has dogged her work since the '80s to reveal a set of songs that quietly shine and stand brilliantly alongside her early work. In the album's opener, "I'll Know You By Your Heart," Manchester sounds revitalized and passionate against the song's sparse bluesy samba beat. The difference between this one song and her post-'70s output is immediate. Gone, thankfully, are the sweeping synthesizers, belted choruses, and saccharine sentiments, replaced with basic instruments, breezy melodies, and thoughtful lyrics. A mystical character named Pearl is brought to life in the Bonnie Raitt-styled "Angels Dancing," while Gertrude Stein is visited in the Latin-tinged "When Paris Was a Woman." Two beautiful ballads, "Bend" and "When I Look Down That Road," delicately play on the emotions without resorting to plastic sentiment. It has been a long time since she has sounded this vibrant and honest. When I Look Down That Road is a true comeback in every sense of the word and ranks among her best albums. Dormant for too long, Melissa Manchester's singer/songwriter soul has finally returned.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/9/2004
  • Label: Koch Records
  • UPC: 099923953722
  • Catalog Number: 9537
  • Sales rank: 364,664

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Melissa Manchester Primary Artist, Vocals, Background Vocals, Piano (Grand)
Richie Kotzen Electric Guitar, Background Vocals
Tom Brechtlein Drums
Mathew Cooker Cello
Kevin DeRemer Acoustic Guitar, Percussion, Drums, Electric Guitar, Hammond Organ
Cassio Duarte Percussion
Bara M'Boup Soloist, African Percussion
Doug Norwine Clarinet
Tollak Ollestad Harmonica, Bass Harmonica
Stephan Oberhoff Synthesizer, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Percussion, Electric Guitar, Harp, Hammond Organ, Slide Guitar, Pump Organ, Piano (Grand)
Lynn E. Angebranndt Cello
Technical Credits
Beth Nielsen Chapman Composer
Melissa Manchester Composer, Liner Notes, Executive Producer, String Arrangements
Rupert Holmes Composer
Kevin DeRemer Arranger, Programming, Producer, Executive Producer, drum programming
Pamela Rose Composer
Jeff Silbar Composer
Stephony Smith Composer
Sharon Vaughn Composer
Zuriani Composer
Joe T. Vannelli Project Engineer, Remixing
Blue Miller Composer
Stephan Oberhoff Arranger, Programming, Producer, Engineer, Digital Editing, String Arrangements, drum programming
Chris Caswell Live Sound Engineer
Jeff Gilligan Art Direction
Wendy Lands Composer
Paul Williams Composer
Sjoerd Koppert Engineer
Brian "Big Bass" Gardner Mastering
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