Four years after recording her one and only album as one half of the country duo the Wreckers, Michelle Branch  released this six-song EP in 2010 that shows the influence of her time in Nashville and a stripped-down acoustic feel. These songs were supposed to be about half of an album, but her music label refused to release the whole album and this material dropped without a great deal of fanfare, although “Sooner Or Later” became a minor hit. After the release of this EP in 2010, it would be seven years before she would be able to release her next physical copy of music , a wait that was especially hard for her many loyal fans. Here is the track by track review:
Ready To Let You Go: The opener to this EP has a driving feel like it could have (and should have) been played on country radio. The narrator shows herself ready to cast off an unworthy partner and, the instrumental work is quite excellent, even with a little bit of a guitar solo at the end.
Sooner Or Later: This sassy single shows someone frustrated about waiting in vain for someone who refuses to see the value in her. This is another song that could very easily have been a hit on country or adult rock, and it is a shame that it was not a bigger hit, as it is a great song.
I Want Tears: This song, another country influenced track, shows the narrator wanting tears and rain if that’s what it takes to get her back with an estranged partners. This song represents at least one half of the dynamic of dysfunctional relationships in the fear of loss and loneliness.
Crazy Ride: This story song is a reflection on the way that life is crazy ride, and the longing to recover what is lost, and find purpose and meaning in the absurdity of life. Part of the song has a sort of lullaby feel with its goodnight to big moon.
Summertime: This song, despite its name, is a fairly sad song about brokenheartedness, nostalgia, and longing for the past summertimes that have been lost and gone, seemingly without recovery. This is another song that could very easily have been a hit on adult contemporary or country radio with proper promotion.
Everything Comes And Goes: This song, although downbeat, ends the EP on a hopeful note. Even if things look bad right now, the narrator is confident that the sun will come out another day. The result is a hard-won sense of optimism even in the face of unpleasant circumstances.
In listening to this EP, I get the sense that we missed a beautiful country-rock album about love and loss and heartbreak when Michelle Branch’s label refused to release the whole thing. To be sure, the material was not groundbreaking, but it fit very well with Michelle Branch’s general focus on heartbreak and loneliness and struggling to feel optimistic even with all that is going on, and several of the tracks on here could have been hits with even fairly minimal promotion. At any rate, at least this EP is a worthwhile and enjoyable one, even if a solo country Michelle Branch album would have been a great one.
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