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Michelle Branch: The Trouble With Fever review

(Nonesuch)
While the album lands some damning jabs, the songwriting is insightful and even-keeled In the 22 years since her debut, Michelle Branch has lived many lives, from teen pop sensation to Grammy-winning collaborator to country singer with the Wreckers. Earlier this year, Branch made headlines after she tweeted accusations of infidelity towards her husband, the Black Keys’ Patrick Carney; she was arrested the same day after allegedly slapping him. All charges were dropped and Branch filed for divorce – a filing that was later suspended by the couple. The Trouble With Fever, Branch’s fifth album, was completed in late 2021, before the birth of hers and Carney’s second child, and during what she describes as “a safe creative bubble”. But the fresh context of their decoupling looms prophetically large. Co-produced with Carney and featuring the warm patina of Americana, Fever presents heartbreak through metaphors of uncertainty and overcoming. On Not My Lover, Branch lands some damning jabs (“You were not my lover / You were just a lesson that I learned”) in a breathy soprano, while You is a wry, self-deprecating slow-waltz: “Some people never seem to learn their lesson / I guess I’m one of those fools.” Continue reading...

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