Released: Jun 24, 2003
Styles: Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock
Number Of Tracks: 13
Like many second albums, her sophomore affair, Hotel Paper, finds Branch two years older and a whole lot more "mature."
unregistered, on november 06, 2003 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: 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'. // 10
Lyrics: 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. // 10
Overall Impression: 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!!! // 10
blairwitch3000, on march 02, 2004 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: 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. // 8
Lyrics: 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. // 10
Overall Impression: 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. // 10
shattered, on march 15, 2004 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Hotel Paper, Michelle Branch's third album, is filled with a range of songs from the beautifully acoustic 'It's You' to the angsty 'Are You Happy Now?' Several particularly radio friendly and catchy tracks, such as the second single to be released from the album, Breathe and Find Your Way Back. One noteworthy track is the amazing Empty Handed on which a 22 piece orchestra is featured. Personally, my favourite track is the pure slice of melancholy that is 'Til I Get Over You, a beautiful song that highlights just how far Branch has come since The Spirit Room. My only complaint would be that some of the tracks have been over produced such as Hotel Paper and One Of These Days. Although beautiful, these two tracks would have been more moving if just simply guitar and piano respectively. // 8
Lyrics: This album showcases Michelle's evident and raw talent and way with words Some of the lyrics are simplistic, others have a surface meaning, but when one looks closer you can see the true depth. The title track of the album is a very exceptional song with moving lyrics that are easy to relate to. I feel that this is part of what makes Branch so popular, she has this ability to reach right to the root of what she is feeling and write about it. Fans across the globe find it possible to connect with Michelle through her increasingly mature lyrics. // 10
Overall Impression: An impressive selection of songs, which are clearly a vehicle for Branch's emotions. After the success of The Spirit Room, Michelle had a lot to live up to with the third album. I think she succeeded in delivering an album which is just as good as it's predecessor if not better. Through this album, Michelle Branch shows the world just how truly talented she is. Many may compare her to Avril Lavigne especially after hearing Are You Happy Now? however there really is no contest - Branch's lyrics are deep and meaningful, much more mature than that of Lavigne Definitely an album worth buying and which will stand the test of time. // 10