Release Date: Sep 25, 2007
Record label: Island
Genre(s): Rock, Pop
Musically, The Awakening is not different from what Etheridge has done before. This is basically soft, grown-up folky rock; it's that adult contemporary thing she's come to wear so well for the last six years or so. She rocks less and spends more time tweaking the records she does make, but then she's a grown-up now and her fans appear to be aging along with her demographically.
Last year, Melissa theridge reversed her slide into adult-contemporary irrelevance with ”I Need to Wake Up,” the Oscar-winning environmental anthem she contributed to An Inconvenient Truth. Her ninth LP’s title (The Awakening) sounds like a promise to expand on that MO, yet the first few tracks find Etheridge wasting her weather-beaten voice on bland lyrics and arrangements. Thankfully, she redeems the disc with a closing clutch of passionate antiwar declarations (”The Kingdom of Heaven,” ”Imagine That”) that let her play her firebrand persona to the hilt.