In 1988, Melissa Etheridge's career ignited behind the full-throttle single "Bring Me Some Water" and her eponymous debut's earthy rock sound was hailed by critics and fans alike. The 1989 follow-up, Brave and Crazy, mixed a little grace into the grit, but was still in line with the trad rock of guys like John Mellencamp and Bruce Springsteen. While these albums had their share of introspection, 1992's Never Enough marked an even greater maturation in Etheridge's sound. Lyrically, it seemed to be the singer's most personal album yet, while a good portion of its set list consisted of heartfelt ballads. Sure, "Must Be Crazy for Me" and "Meet Me in the Back" are laced with barroom come-ons and roll with the kind of rock traditionalism that originally established her. But the largely acoustic "Boy Feels Strange" brought us inside a failing relationship, while perhaps inadvertently addressing the rumbles and rumors concerning Etheridge's own sexuality. Likewise, "Letting Go" brought her raw vocal style to a wounded, almost fragile, place not apparent before, and was guided by the plaintive notes of a solitary piano. The songs were challenging not only from a musicianship and songwriting standpoint, but also as the next steps in Etheridge's still-young career. It was a risk to issue a record like Never Enough after a three-year hiatus and into a market that might have expected "Bring Me Some MORE Water." Etheridge's choice of a single was even more gutsy. "2001" sounded nothing like anything she had done before. Guided by stuttering, synthetic percussion and a guitar line reminiscent of the Edge's postmodern squawk on U2's "The Fly," "2001" was simultaneously one of the album's coolest and craziest songs. It further indicated Etheridge's maturation as a songwriter and helped make Never Enough her strongest statement to that point.
AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus