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Still Right Here
“A fine entry in a great catalog”
On her first studio album in five years, Melissa Ferrick sings, “I don’t like being criticized/so please hold your tongue,” which might make reviewing the album somewhat of a difficult task. Still Right Here, for all its flaws, still feels like a Melissa Ferrick record. It’s got the aggressively percussive guitar and folk-rock melodies that color Ferrick’s catalog and have created for her a permanent spot on the singer/songwriter stage. Even the buzzwords of Ferrick’s older records resurface here, songs that ask questions about fear, truth, and loneliness. At its best, the record is roughly 40 minutes of fun driving music: the perfect summer soundtrack.
However, on second listen, Still Right Here falls a little short of the bar Ferrick has set for herself (see In The Eyes of Strangers for Ferrick at her best) after nearly 20 years on the road. Some of these songs feel unfinished and unedited, and many lack the focus that Ferrick infuses her stronger songs with. Thankfully, guest appearances from grade-A musicians like Kaki King and Ani DiFranco help to detract from the less-than-stellar lyrics on the record. The lovely, haunting “Weightless and Slow” is the album’s most redeeming track, and showcases Ferrick at her best. “This Time of Year,” a love song to New England, is definitely another keeper.
All in all, Still Right Here, while certainly not Ferrick’s finest release, will surely still find positive acclaim from the singer’s strong fan base, and regardless makes for a fun listen with the windows down. (MPress Records)
Produced by Melissa Ferrick
Mastered by John Shyloski