Fearless Love, Melissa Etheridge's feistiest disc since her 1988 debut, blurs the difference between hard-earned personal experience and social commentary. In "Miss California," she voices her frustration with California's recent anti-gay-marriage amendment by addressing the state as if it were a wayward lover: "I know the hand that's trying to hold me down/Is the one I'm trying to hold." For "The Wanting of You," Etheridge sets "Born to Run" riffs against a tale of a married woman who constantly lusts for another, reminding you that she's best when she brings both intensity and compassion.
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