Hopeless Romantic (Michelle Branch album)

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Hopeless Romantic
Michelle Branch - Hopeless Romantic (Official Album Cover).png
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 7, 2017 (2017-04-07)
Recorded2015–2016
StudioSargent Recorders
(Los Angeles, California)
Genre
Length52:21
LabelVerve
Producer
Michelle Branch chronology
Everything Comes and Goes
(2010)
Hopeless Romantic
(2017)
Singles from Hopeless Romantic
  1. "Hopeless Romantic"
    Released: February 3, 2017

Hopeless Romantic is the fourth studio album by American singer and songwriter Michelle Branch. It was released on April 7, 2017, by Verve Records.[1] Co-written and co-produced by Patrick Carney, the album is Branch's first release with Verve after leaving her previous label, Reprise Records, and having the original album material scrapped.[2] Hopeless Romantic is also Branch's first full-length album to be released since Hotel Paper (2003), and first overall release since the Everything Comes and Goes EP in 2010.

The eponymous lead single from the album premiered on Billboard from her Vevo account on February 2, 2017,[3] and was released digitally on February 3, 2017.[4]

Background[edit]

In early 2001, Branch signed with Maverick Records under Warner Bros. Records and released two highly successful studio albums, The Spirit Room and Hotel Paper, in August 2001[5] and summer 2003, respectively. The Spirit Room was certified double platinum by the RIAA, selling more than 2.5 million copies[6][7], while Hotel Paper was certified Platinum by the RIAA.[8] In 2002, Branch collaborated with Santana and recorded "The Game of Love", which earned both Santana and Branch a Grammy Award.

From 2004 to 2008, Branch formed a country duo with Jessica Harp called The Wreckers.[9][10] Additionally, Branch announced that she was working on a new solo album titled Everything Comes and Goes that was slated for a June 2008 release, but due to personal and professional struggles it was delayed, and instead released as an EP in June 2010.[11]

In 2011, Branch attempted a return to pop rock with the album West Coast Time, which also went unreleased due to restructuring within her record labels Reprise Records and Warner Bros. Records.[12] In June 2011, she released ″Loud Music[13] as the lead and only single from the then-upcoming release of The Loud Music Hits EP, which was released that August through Reprise Records.[14] With the stressful factors of having two unreleased albums, contentions within her record label, the breakup of her country duo, motherhood and subsequent divorce, Branch was on the verge of officially quitting her music career.[15]

In June 2015, however, Branch announced via Instagram that she had signed a new contract with Verve Records.[16] Branch began dating Patrick Carney of The Black Keys that same year, and they co-wrote the album that would become Hopeless Romantic.[17]

Composition and development[edit]

According to Entertainment Weekly, Branch's current sound for the album is "laid-back rock & roll"; of her new-found sound, Branch said, "Patrick was like, 'This is your record, it has to sound like you'... It was the first time that someone pushed me to figure it all out on my own."[18] The album's content is very personal, featuring songs about Branch's breakup with ex-husband Teddy Landau and about her new relationship with Patrick Carney.[17]

Promotion[edit]

To promote Hopeless Romantic, Branch performed at New York City's Bowery Electric, performing songs from the new album as well as her past hit "Are You Happy Now?". The album's lead single, "Hopeless Romantic", was released digitally on February 3, 2017.[4] "Best You Ever" was released as the first promotional single from the album on March 3, 2017.[19] "Fault Line" was released as the second promotional single from the album on March 31, 2017.[20]

Promotional appearances in the media to support the album included a performance of "Best You Ever" on Good Morning America[21] and Late Night with Seth Meyers on April 6, 2017.[22]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic72/100[23]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[24]
Consequence of SoundB[25]
Contactmusic.com3.5/5 stars[26]
Entertainment WeeklyB[27]
Mojo3/5 stars[28]
Paste7.2/10[29]
Uncut3.5/5 stars[30]

Hopeless Romantic received mostly positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has an average score of 72 out of 100, which indicates "generally favorable reviews" based on 7 reviews.[23]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic rated the album four out of five stars, calls it "a new beginning on several different fronts", and writes, "it comes on so smoothly, it's easy to overlook how the songs quickly sink into the subconscious."[24] Writing for Paste and rating the album 7.2 out of 10, Max Freedman states that on Hopeless Romantic, Branch "tells her story with enough variance to stay engaging."[29] Entertainment Weekly's Madison Vain rated the album a "B", commenting, "Hopeless Romantic charts new ground, going beyond the simple math of adding the blues-rock percussionist and anthemic pop-rocker together."[27]

Accolades[edit]

Publication Rank List
Billboard 32 50 Best Albums of 2017 So Far[31]
Spin 41 50 Best Albums of 2017 So Far[32]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks produced by Patrick Carney and Gus Seyffert, except where noted.

Standard edition[33]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Best You Ever"
3:39
2."You're Good" (producers: Branch, Carney)
  • Branch
  • Carney
  • Kuney
3:10
3."Fault Line"
3:55
4."Heartbreak Now"
  • Branch
  • Carney
  • Seyffert
  • Kuney
  • Bleu
4:12
5."Hopeless Romantic"
  • Branch
  • Carney
  • Seyffert
  • Kuney
  • Silverman
3:30
6."Living a Lie"
  • Branch
  • Carney
  • Seyffert
3:34
7."Knock Yourself Out"
4:04
8."Temporary Feeling"
  • Branch
  • Carney
  • Seyffert
  • Kuney
  • Decilveo
  • Bram Inscore
3:34
9."Carry Me Home"
  • Branch
  • Carney
  • Seyffert
  • Kuney
  • Inscore
3:26
10."Not a Love Song"
3:30
11."Last Night" (producers: Branch, Carney)
3:41
12."Bad Side"
  • Branch
  • Carney
  • Seyffert
  • Kuney
  • Pearson
3:57
13."Shadow"
3:34
14."City"
  • Branch
  • Carney
  • Seyffert
4:35
Total length:52:21

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from AllMusic.[35]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2017) Peak
position
US Billboard 200[36] 143
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[37] 18
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[38] 24

Release history[edit]

List of regions, release dates, formats, label and references
Region Date Format(s) Label Ref.
Japan April 7, 2017 CD Universal Music Japan [34]
Various Verve [18][1][33][39]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Michelle Branch: Hopeless Romantic (Album)". Amazon.com. April 7, 2017. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
  2. ^ Kaye, Ben (March 2, 2017). "Michelle Branch premieres "Best You Ever" from Patrick Carney-produced new album". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
  3. ^ Shouneyia, Alexa (February 2, 2017). "Michelle Branch Is a 'Hopeless Romantic' on New Track: Exclusive Premiere". Billboard. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Michelle Branch: Hopeless Romantic (Single)". Amazon.com. February 3, 2017. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  5. ^ Worden, Melissa (September 13, 2001). "Breakout: Michelle Branch". USA Today. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  6. ^ Robinson, Will (August 15, 2016). "Michelle Branch celebrates 15th anniversary of 'The Spirit Room'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  7. ^ "Recording Industry Association of America". riaa.org. Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  8. ^ Leahey, Andrew. "Michelle Branch - Biography | Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  9. ^ Tecson, Brandee J. (March 14, 2005). "Michelle Branch No Longer Wrecking Homes". MTV News.
  10. ^ "The Wreckers Split". Contactmusic.com. February 1, 2008. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  11. ^ Horner, Marianne (December 3, 2010). "Michelle Branch Scraps CD to Start Over". The Boot. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  12. ^ Williams, Brillion (February 19, 2015). "Michelle Branch Ends Marriage of Eleven Years". PPcorn. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  13. ^ "New Music Alert: Michelle Branch "Loud Music"". Mix 94.1. Mix 94.1. CBS Radio. June 14, 2011. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  14. ^ "Michelle Branch Singles and EPs @ARTISTdirect". Artistdirect. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  15. ^ Halperin, Shirley (June 27, 2011). "Why Michelle Branch Almost Quit Music (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  16. ^ Branch, Michelle. "Instagram photo by Michelle Branch • Jul 18, 2015 at 1:26am UTC". Instagram. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  17. ^ a b Gaca, Anna (January 5, 2017). "Michelle Branch's First New Album in 14 Years Was Co-Written With the Black Keys' Patrick Carney". Spin. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  18. ^ a b O'Donnell, Kevin; Feeney, Nolan; Vain, Madison; Renner Brown, Eric; Goodman, Jessica; Greenblatt, Leah (December 22, 2016). "The 35 Most Anticipated Albums Of 2017". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on December 23, 2016. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
  19. ^ "Michelle Branch: Best You Ever: Music". Amazon.com. ASIN B01NAY8YZK. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  20. ^ "Michelle Branch: Fault Line: Music". Amazon.com. ASIN B01N6W19IM. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  21. ^ "Michelle Branch performs 'Best You Ever' live on 'GMA'". ABC. April 6, 2017. Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  22. ^ "Watch: Michelle Branch: "Best You Ever"". Yahoo! View. April 7, 2017. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  23. ^ a b "Reviews for Hopeless Romantic by Michelle Branch". Metacritic. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  24. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Hopeless Romantic - Michelle Branch". AllMusic. Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  25. ^ Sonis, Rachel (March 29, 2017). "The singer-songwriter returns with her most vulnerable and honest work to date". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
  26. ^ Lai, Alex (April 3, 2017). "Michelle Branch - Hopeless Romantic Album Review". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
  27. ^ a b Vain, Madison (April 7, 2017). "Michelle Branch's Hopeless Romantic: EW review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  28. ^ "Review: Hopeless Romantic by Michelle Branch". Mojo. London. May 2017. p. 98.
  29. ^ a b Freedman, Max (April 3, 2017). "Michelle Branch: Hopeless Romantic Review". Paste. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
  30. ^ "Review: Hopeless Romantic by Michelle Branch". Uncut. London. May 2017. p. 25.
  31. ^ "50 Best Albums of 2017 So Far". Billboard. June 5, 2017. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  32. ^ "50 Best Albums of 2017 So Far". Spin. June 5, 2017. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  33. ^ a b "Hopeless Romantic by Michelle Branch on Apple Music". iTunes Store (in Indonesian). Indonesia. April 7, 2017.
  34. ^ a b "Hopeless Romantic [SHM-CD] Michelle Branch CD Album". CDJapan. Japan. March 24, 2017.
  35. ^ "Hopeless Romantic – Michelle Branch – Credits – AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  36. ^ "Michelle Branch Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  37. ^ "Michelle Branch Chart History (Top Alternative Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  38. ^ "Michelle Branch Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  39. ^ "Hopeless Romantic". Amazon.fr (in French). April 7, 2017.