Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to have people send me musical recommendations from artists I probably wouldn’t have been able to hear of otherwise. Michelle Cross was one of these artists.
I don’t quite remember the year, but I’m guessing it was around the time that her 5-song EP, My Name Is Not Cinderella came out. I remember my friend telling me that if I liked Tori Amos, I would probably like Michelle. And they were right.
Michelle’s music is easy to get lost in. Her piano-work is solid and fluid and she’s got a great voice. Some I suspect will immediately pass her off as a Tori Amos clone, which is easy to do when she can occasionally channel Tori’s unconventional and unmistakable vocal stylings. A song like the Poe-esque ‘Raven’ is a good example of this. It’s a beautiful song that Michelle delivers perfectly, but it loses some spark only for sounding as if it’s not very original.
Other songs have similar shortcomings, but all of them showcase Michelle’s serious talent. ‘Sushi Queen,’ which has won Michelle many accolades already, is one of her strongest songs. It’s upbeat and fluid and allows the proper stage for Michelle’s voice to be heard. I can only imagine that it’s as much fun for her to perform as it is for the listener to hear.
The live versions of ‘Raven’ and ‘Planet Steve’ are taken from a live radio performance from a few years ago. Both exhibit Michelle’s friendly on-stage personality which seem to contrast much of her music’s darker subject matter.
After visiting her website, I’ve discovered that Michelle has also released her first full-length album, Smoke Like Perfume. It’s one I don’t own yet, but am very curious to hear, purely to see how her music has evolved since Cinderella.
More music samples (including the ones featured here) and purchase information can be found at Michelle’s official website.