Songs full of melancholia that will still bring a smile to your face
I was only two songs into this album when I had to pause it as I made a cup of tea; broke out the Hobnobs and felt the need to put my feet up and let the rest of the beautiful songs just wash over me.
Looking like a pretty Hippie-Chick but with a soft smoky voice that sounds uncannily like the young Nanci Griffith, Michelle Lewis can certainly write a damn fine song; primarily, but not exclusively heartbreakers and break-up songs; and she’s not afraid of a melody either.
Sorry, I Forgot to Write which opens the album somehow reminded me of every girl who broke my heart in my teenage years; but still left me thinking it was ‘my fault’ as they fell in love with someone else; yet still wanted to remain ‘friends.’
The soft velvet covered punches never stop coming and in Paris I genuinely had tears running down my face as I listened to the achingly beautiful lyrics through headphones while lying all alone in a hotel bed. Who can’t be moved by a woman who knows that a trip to Paris and a dozen roses isn’t going to fix their fractured relationship; and the accordion in the background sounded like someone actually squeezing my heart until it was nearly ready to burst.
It will come as no surprise that Goodbye follows in the same theme; but damn her, Michelle Lewis’s skillful storytelling is so good I keep coming back to these songs like some kind of masochist.
Mercifully not every song is actually a heartbreaker; Just Like a Movie details the first days of a torrid love affair as Michelle compares herself and her lover to various Silverscreen pairings; especially Bogart and Bacall, while shoehorning numerous filmic references in and keeping the song just the right side of twee; but sandwiched between the songs it is on the album; it’s fair to say I don’t think the story will have a happy ending!
THE PARTS THAT STILL REMAIN ends with a short and sweet vignette called Lost in LA where she begs her lover not to leave her all alone as he prepares to go off gallivanting to Reno, Tahoe and Sparks. Who knows if he did go? If it were me; I’d have stopped; as Michelle Lewis is one of the few modern songwriters who appears to know what it really means to be in and out of love.