Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Michelle Branch: The Spirit Room [Maverick, 2001]
Only in a biz discombobulated by teenpop could an 18-year-old with an acoustic guitar be plausibly promoted as "the anti-Britney." Don't you remember? Writing Your Own Songs means zip, zilch, nada. By now, literally millions of human beings WTOS, and while Branch may be among the top 5000 (and may not), note that her hit, like most of the front-loaded material, was co-composed by her producer. In this she precisely resembles arrant bimbo Willa Ford, who made her mark batting her plump lips at Nick Carter and Carson Daly and may yet prove the more interesting artist. Britney sure is. C