Goodbye Youth…Melissa’s very best album.
Melissa Ferrick’s new album was released on iTunes on September 16th…but actually one was able to keep checking in on the 15th *and* with much delight find it ready to download a little past 11:30 pm. Then one was able to listen & write their review and post it to iTunes by oh I dunno 12:30pm. I have no idea who would do something so geeky. Ok I do know her and she’s a great girl, crazy in only interesting and charming ways.
And now I have listened to Goodbye Youth at least 50 times – over and over and over again – on a nearly continuous loop. I turn on the computer and turn it on…I have a cd in the house, a cd in the car – it’s loaded into my iPod. I walk, in part, for a living and I walk listening to music. Yep you bet, walking with Ferrick and Goodbye Youth. And I wish I was a musician and that is what a musician does, one listens – over and over again until it’s memorized, studied, understood.
This is her BEST album period. Her best album period. Don’t make me repeat it for every time I have listened to it. Best one and considering the body of work she has produced that is damn fine.
Denise asked me in my comments section…You really think this is the best Ferrick album? Are you sure? Could it just be the excitement of Ferrick and new Ferrick in general that’s causing you to gush over this?
I like it very much, don’t get me wrong, but her best album? I don’t think so.
YES – I think this is the best album she’s ever released, the strongest collection of songs on a single album she has released. While I do tend to gush over artists I like with an unbridled passion – this gushing is deserved. (I did not for example gush over Lucinda Williams last release and I gave Emmy Lou Harris’s new album only a listen or two before it started getting dusty).
I can be objective, and I’m a Virgo…we are critical, critical, critical.
A really strong collection of songs, her fantastic percussive guitar skills, her lovely emotive voice. The album highlights that delicious contrast that Ferrick is…a strength, paired with inaccessibility, that at times cracks and reveals her intense vulnerability. Her music is always personal, first person but the experiences of the personal are political at the most essential level and her experiences are human ones. One can relate to the music, the lyrics, the stories. The songs are tight, well written – fantastic. Every single one.
Unlike earlier albums this is one by a mature songwriter and woman – it is full of humor, ironies and experience. It reveals strong reactions and emotions without the overzealous angry quality of work by younger artists, or even a younger Melissa.
There is wisdom here and damn good music…period (do I have to repeat myself).
Here’s a rundown of the track/song list.
1. Heartbeat I dare you to sit still. Sultry and fun.
2. Goodbye Youth. It has hit song written all over it for Melissa…ready for someone to pick up and run with.
3. Bad Habit. One of my favorites…the beat, the lyrics, the darkness tempered with humor. Great.
4. Glycerine. A cover of another artists song – I don’t need it on the album but she does a great job with it. Maybe it’s me “glycerine” – I don’t understand the lyrics. Is “glycerine” code for something and I am out of that loop?
5. I’m Going To Break Your Heart Sweetie you already have, with this album it’s so fucking good.
6. Hypocrite. A favorite, yeah another, they are all favorites but this one is a wee bit more so.
7. When Thom Sings. A beautiful song, beautiful love song that will stop you in your tracks, no matter what you are doing and demand your full and appreciative attention.
8. Getting Over You. Just when you are not over “When Thom Sings” Melissa hits you with Getting Over You. You are now a puddle on the floor.
9. House On Fire. Melissa will pick you up with this one and get you right back on your feet again. Despite all of the delicious sounds she can make come out of an acoustic guitar…now I miss hearing her rock out with a full band behind her. This song is ready to pick up and make a uber HIT.
10. Real. This is the least successful track for me…it rambles, it reaches – maybe she was reaching for some difficult emotions, my least favorite song on the album.
11. John’s Field. John’s Field is just a simply lovely song…simply lovely. She let’s you go easy – a lovely end to a great album.
Goodbye Youth – Melissa hit it. The album is intimate and stripped down to the most essential qualities. A woman, her vision, voice and acoustic guitar. The listener has all she/he needs and doesn’t miss a thing. Because of the manner in which it was recorded (not in her own studio) it’s not overstudied or over controlled/edited – it comes as close to the magic that is Melissa in concert as one can get.
Only this is better – it’s a concert she’s playing only to you.
Go buy it – I told you so – you’re welcome.