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Michelle Branch Releases New Pop Single, Tours with Goo Goo Dolls

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Michelle Branch Releases New Pop Single, Tours with Goo Goo Dolls

In case you haven't heard, pop (and sometimes country) singer Michelle Branch has a new single out right now and it's pretty great. "Loud Music" was shipped to Hot AC radio earlier this month and digitally released on iTunes June 14th. Co-written by Branch, James Irvin and Julian Emery and produced by John Shanks (Sheryl Crow, Kelly Clarkson), "Loud Music" marks Michelle Branch's return to her pop music root. I'm absolutely BEYOND thrilled that Branch is putting her country music aspirations on hold and refocusing her attention on the style that brought her into the limelight to begin with. Long overdue if you ask me. "Loud Music" is the first single to be taken from Branch's forthcoming studio album (her first solo album in eight years!), West Coast Time, due out in September on Reprise Records.  According to Branch:
"I'm so excited about this new record," says Branch. "I can't wait for my fans to hear my new stuff. Having worked primarily with acoustic instrumentation on my last record, I really wanted to play around with new sounds, synthesizers and programming. It's going to be a blast to play live."
I had first heard of Michelle Branch back when I was in college and doing occasional CD reviews for my school paper, the Indiana Daily Student. There was a drawer in the newsroom where reviewers could riffle through stacks of promotional CDs, one of them being a copy of Michelle Branch's debut album The Spirit Room. To be honest, I never actually reviewed that CD. I think someone beat me to it, as there were oftentimes multiple copies of the same CD sent by the labels.  I do remember reading in the paper that she was making an appearance at a small Bloomington club called The Bluebird and being devastated because I was underage and couldn't get in.  "How is that fair!? Michelle Branch isn't even 21 yet!" I was furious.

It's hard to believe that was back in 2001, really before she even took off. The Spirit Room ultimately went multi-platinum and produced three hit singles, "Everywhere," "All You Wanted" and "Goodbye To You." In 2002 Branch upped her status and credibility with her duet with Santana, "The Game Of Love," which was a hit all over the world, even winning a Grammy Award for 'Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.' Branch was seemingly unstoppable by this point, releasing her sophomore record, Hotel Paper, the following year in 2003. While not nearly as successful as it's predecessor, Hotel Paper was still a solid pop rock album, debuting at #2 on the Billboard 200 chart and featuring the Grammy nominated single "Are You Happy Now?"

Once all of the promotional duties on Hotel Paper were over, Branch took a little breather, and by "breather" I mean she got married, had a baby and then went country. This might have been one of the saddest moments for me, musically speaking. When Branch formed country duo, The Wreckers, with pal Jessica Harp I felt betrayed. How could Branch suddenly just switch gears like this, effectively abandoning her pop fans?  Of course this anger was short lived and I ultimately caved and downloaded a couple of their singles. Not too bad. Not my cup of tea but not bad. Branch's unique vocal style and phrasing was still there, just with a bit more twang.  The duo's debut album, Stand Still, Look Pretty, went gold and they were nominated for three ACM awards, a CMA award and a Grammy. With all of that success I was scared that Branch would become a full blown country singer, turning her back on pop forever.  Looks like my fears were unsubstantiated, because now, with The Wreckers on indefinite hiatus, Branch is making a much anticipated pop comeback, ready to give her fans some lovin'.

Starting on July 7th, Michelle Branch will head out on tour with The Goo Goo Dolls for a summer tour. Check out the dates HERE and maybe go and catch her live. Download her fabulous big-chorused, guitar-heavy pop single, "Loud Music" on U.S. iTunes HERE. You can watch the lyric video below if you like.
Check out Michelle Branch on the web:

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Blogger Joey said...

sweet, they're coming to the Mountain View Winery in California!

Michelle Branch is definitely one of my favorites -- I'm so glad she's going back to her pop-rock routine. I was in the 8th grade when Hotel Paper was released, so it's been a good what, 9 years of a hiatus? I never really followed her career when she formed The Wreckers and blah blah, but she did release a song on the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 soundtrack which I didn't mind, lol.

June 29, 2011 at 10:41 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Ahh yes. Hotel Paper. I definitely preferred her first album but I missed her when she went country. So glad she's back!

June 29, 2011 at 2:35 PM  

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