Meredith Brooks

Deconstruction

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Oregon native Meredith Brooks returns with the follow-up to her 1997 smash release Blurring the Edges with Deconstruction. This time working with producer Dave Darling, Brooks delivers another pleasant if somewhat derivative helping of adult rock but fails to come up with anything that is likely to command the heavy airplay of "Bitch." Deconstruction leads off with "Shout," a slice of noise-pop that sounds a bit like the Breeders, before she tackles a cover of Melanie's Woodstock-era anthem "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)." It's a punchy version that benefits from an appearance by Queen Latifah who adds some updated lyrics. The rest of Deconstruction ranges from the Sheryl Crow-like "I Have Everything" to the goofy fun of "Cosmic Woo Woo." The best tracks are the acoustic-tinged tale of a neglected, abused child on "Nobody's Home" and the mid-tempo pop hooks of "I Said." Melodic, but there's nothing on Deconstruction that builds on her last record or is apt to sustain interest from the audience gained from "Bitch." [The CD was also released with a bonus track.]

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