Melissa Etheridge – One Way Out (Album Review)

Melissa Etheridge – One Way Out (Album Review)

A singer, songwriter, guitarist, activist, and all around inspiring individual, Melissa Etheridge is back with a brand new album, One Way Out,  and it arrived on Friday, September 17, 2021 through BMG.

In her well over 30 years of making music professionally, Etheridge has released an impressive 16 studio albums. Her latest, One Way Out, boasts nine songs, of which the last two are live recordings. Interestingly enough the music was written by Etheridge in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but never saw the light of day until now. An compelling treat for fans, were these old tracks worth taking out of the vault?

The simple, straight forward answer is yes. Continuously swinging back and forth between Rock-n-Roll and Folk Rock, Etheridge uses her outstanding voice to tell stories that everyone will be able to relate to, one way or another, as they are all inspired by everyday life. In this, you can hear the experience of making music, and the travails of  life itself, in every note. Additionally, the arrangements and vocals feel natural, and no matter which topic Etheridge tackles, her voice remains inviting with its calm, yet smooth demeanor.

And yet, this is not a sleepy collection: you will hear and feel each word sung. The crisp arrangements make this an easy task, spotlighting Etheridge’s lyrical candor in such a way that you can memorize the lyrics right away. All of this gives the music an earthy and grounded touch, creating a sound that is honest and clear, with no effects or distortions. Simply put: One Way Out is just pure Rock-n-Roll music.

Throughout the LP, there are ‘louder’ moments like “For The Last Time,” as well as some slower songs, including “I’m No Angel Myself” and “Wild Wild Wild.” All of the arrangements are extremely catchy and the choruses are earworms. They are also perfect to hum or sing along to! But the album is careful to maintain the perfect balance. This way you feel balanced after listening, almost as if you had been meditating or are fresh from a revitalizing nap.

But before it can end, Etheridge presents the LP’s two live offerings, “You Have No Idea” and “Life Goes On,” taking you back into a live concert venue and reminding you of the joyous chaos. The cheering of the audience fills the room and you can feel the heat of the show, as well as the love and passion that is in the air. 

Overall, Melissa Etheridge is a wonderful musician. Her smoky vocals are one in a million, and her timeless music can be listened to anywhere and at any time. Each song spreads a calmness throughout the room that makes One Way Out feel like a true escape. In short, it is another masterpiece from the prolific Etheridge and hopefully she has more songs from the past to dust off and offer! For this, Cryptic Rock gives One Way Out 5 out of 5 stars. 

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Nina Mende
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