Sound — 8
The third album the songstress, is a melancholic acoustic softrock experience. The rock sounds of Are You Happy Now?, Find Your Way Back and Everywhere (a bonus track from The Spirit Room),are entertaining and enormously catchy, but don't reach the melancholic heights of One of These Days, Hotel Paper (the title track) and I'll get Over You. However, easily the best sounding track is the enlightening Breathe, which although teeny-bopper like, repeat listens induce an enormous grin.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics are certainly unusual. One of These Days is the most personal, and the most inventive and touching with the great opening verse; "I watched the station/saw the bus pullin through/and I don't mind sayin/a part of me left with you..." Are You Happy Now is certainly an angry and spiteful track, as the lyrics show us a darker side of Branch's personality. Everywhere, is an initially enjoyable, and on repeat listens, intriguing mystery, and Hotel Paper is extremely unique. Only Its You is too simple and at times quite whiny.
Overall Impression — 10
Although easily compared to the angsty likes of Avril Lavigne, Hotel Paper is more of a kind of cross between country singer Steve Earle and Alanis Morissette. Hotel Paper is a certainly a beautifully structured album, and perfectly ordered, each song complementing the next. Filled with a variety of styles, the most unique being the superb Michelle/Sheryl Crow duet, and the almost surreal Ill Get Over You. A unique, intelligent, thoughtful and intensely listenable album, which most importantly easy to play on Guitar! All I really need to say is... buy it. Now.