Melissa Ferrick

Freedom

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With her fourth studio album, Freedom, Melissa Ferrick kicks and tears at the constraints her chosen life as a musician have set upon her. Being a tormented artist is apparently not that easy neither internally nor externally. It obviously wreaks havoc on the inner emotional realm to have a need to create and to live by those creations. And though by attending any concert to witness screaming adoring fans, it would seem that a so-called rock star could have anyone he or she wanted. However, the lifestyle isn't actually all that well-suited to achieving romantic success. At least that's the picture painted here. Having avoided the pitfalls of egocentricity thus far in her songwriting, Ferrick falls into that void on this effort. Disappointingly so, a handful of the tracks, including "Some Kinda Nerve,""Little Love," "Win 'Em Over," and "Drive," are more self-serving, self-pitying than anything else. And her melodic sense isn't as consistently keen as on previous releases. But what's one small musical misstep between friends? Not that big a deal when it's in the grand evolutionary scheme of an artist as talented as this one.

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