Sound — 10
Michelle Branch has certainly come a long way since 'The Spirit Room', and here it certainly shows. Her vocals are edgier and less pop-influenced. Her sound has matured a lot, with some of the songs having more of a rock edge, as shown on the album's debut, 'Are You Happy Now'. Most of the songs have a Sheryl Crow style influence, especially the bouncy duet with Crow on 'Why You Love Me Like That'.
Lyrics — 10
Michelle is a great singer/songwriter, and songwriting is what sets her apart from other teen singers. Her lyrics are different from other songs in that she expresses her emotions in more mature lyrics. For instance, instead of saying 'My boyfriend left me, he's such a loser.' she asks if he's happy without her. Not a big improvement, but it's a nice touch that makes a difference.
Overall Impression — 10
Michelle is one of my favourite artists, along with John Mayer, who both have brought acoustic guitar to the mainstream in the past year or so. The album's songs withstand repeated listening, and there isn't a song on the album I dislike. My favourite songs are 'Breathe', 'Are You Happy Now', 'Tuesday Morning' and 'The Game of Love' with Santana. Everyone should buy this album. NOW!!!