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Michelle Branch

Everything Comes and Goes – 2010 (Warner)

Reviewed by Kellie Gibson

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CDs by Michelle Branch

In Michelle Branch's first solo release since 2003, her six-song EP "Everything Comes and Goes," displays exactly why listeners first took notice of her talent nearly a decade ago. From 2005-2007, Branch served as one half of the duo The Wreckers with fellow musician Jessica Harp, gaining recognition through their hit single Leave the Pieces.

Since then, Branch has been busy writing new material, which is apparent in this CD as she penned all of the songs with the exception of I Want Tears. Although she may have found her niche in songwriting, this album falters musically at moments. Crazy Ride, for example, starts out strong, but the momentum tends to fade by the time the chorus comes around.

This EP really finds its legs on Ready to Let You Go, which is flavored with the sass that Branch is known for and enhanced with the fiddle playing of multi-instrumentalist Larry Campbell, who toured with Bob Dylan for many years. Sooner or Later is also a standout cut that displays Branch's vocal range and ability to step into the shoes of the characters she has created.

Despite these highlights, the title song leaves little to be desired. Philosophically coined, it leaves one to wonder if she put as much thought into the actual lyrics as she did trying to think of a catchy title that related to her life since the split from Harp. Due to this, the message gets lost by the time its three minutes are up.

But, overall, this much-delayed EP ranks as an achievement for Branch.