Michelle Branch has come a long way. The first 'anti-Britney', a girl who simply stood behind her guitar and let her music do the talking. Songs such as 'Everywhere', 'All You Wanted' and 'Goodbye to You' were excellent, well crafted songs, especially when you consider that they were written when she was 14 years old... Her second major release 'Hotel Paper' seems to be a sort of diary, recalling times on the road and of course - love gained, yearned for and lost, and with all the emotions in between. 'Hotel Paper' is grittier and edgier, but loses some of the song writing class of the previous album. Some songs do stand out, such as the charming 'Hotel Paper', 'Tuesday Morning', 'Empty Handed' and my personal favourite, the Phil Collins-esque 'One of These Days'. While this album may be more mature than 'The Spirit Room', it's almost too mature for her 19 years (at the time of recording). While it's probably to be expected, some of the exuberance and fun of the first album is lost here. I'm still a big fan of Michelle, yet this album probably only deserves three stars. I'll give an extra one based on her sheer potential that's waiting to be unleashed. Perhaps more time and a little better production will bring out her finest work.