Ever since I heard Everywhere, Michelle's first single, I was hooked. After seeing the video I became even more excited about the fresh and genuine talent I was witnessing. As far as I could see Michelle Branch was the perfect artist: good-looking, young, full of energy and life with a great talent for singing, songwriting and playing the guitar. What more could you ask for? The only question was how long it would last for.
Well, here she is on her second internationally-released album and her third album in total and she's still the best of her kind around. Hotel Paper sounds more mature compared to The Spirit Room and has a lot more to offer in terms of number of tracks and genres of music. Michelle manages to flow easily from style to style, from the bluesy Desperately to the country-style Love Me Like That - a duet with the great Sheryl Crow. Other highlights include The first single Are You Happy Now, the catchy, breezy Breathe - surely the second single, the rocky melody of Find Your Way Back and the haunting vocals on It's You. And as a bonus for the UK they even throw in Everywhere and The Game of Love with Santana!
As a big fan, I was slightly worried about how Hotel Paper would compare to her last album but I shouldn't have bothered. Michelle's voice and songwriting have noticeably improved and her songs still pack a punch. She's back and better than before. I'd recomend it to everyone who hasn't heard her yet and fans of the likes of Alanis, Sheryl Crow, Avril Lavigne and Lene Marlin.