Classifying herself as an "Acoustic Singer/Songwriter," Michelle's influences includes artists as divergent as Cheryl Wheeler, Cat Stevens, and Lucinda Williams, but her performances center round her own compositions, displaying both a prolific talent for song writing and an infectious love of music.
What I Got (Overview)
What I Got is the latest CD from Washington area singer/songwriter Michelle Swan. Sophisticated songwriting, superb musicianship, and a polished performance are all valid reasons to shove it into your CD player. But it's Swan's passionate, vivid rendering of adult emotions that will make you want to listen to it again and again. What I Got offers the work of a songwriter and performer at the height of her power. Swan's intuitive feel for what touches hearts and shapes lives, her ability to tell stories both personal and timeless, make her a regional treasure. Even before you listen to the track "Waiting to Arrive" you'll understand Swan very definitely has. What I Got elevates her hardwon experience into art and bestows a great gift to anyone lucky enough to get a listen.
What I Got
The title track sets the tone for the CD. A sassy, witty, worldly self-assessment, What I Got could be an anthem for anyone who lacks gobs of disposable income and a spot on the A-list - and is wise enough to know it doesn't matter. With a teasing, tantalizing defiance, What I Got reminds us ... "it's all inside - and that's the best."
Not That I'd Know
Remember that moment when the possibility of a great love hovered before you, just out of reach - too real to let you sleep, too elusive to trust to anything but the deepest recesses of your heart? Not That I'd Know perfectly recreates the aching sweetness of anticipation made more delicious by the vividness of the songwriter's imagination. Swan's lovely, crystal clear vocals hit just the right tone to convey longing that is both tender and fierce - and an invitation that would require a heart of stone to refuse.
Out of the Blue
No snob about who can catch a lover's eye, Out of the Blue takes the listener on a wild, raucous ride. The song romps through the vividness of a crush - the mindless attraction to a casual acquaintance. From rehearsing clever lines to buying gas she doesn't need, Out of the Blue rocks out on a joy well beyond the limits of logic.
Madwoman is a subtle, nuanced rendering of an emotion so powerful it creates a kind of delightful madness, a madness the lover in the song gladly accepts as fair trade. In the form of a musing, reflective dialog with herself, Madwoman admits distraction, a blurring of the world around her, but doesn't mind the lack of order. There are worse things than the dizzying confusion of passion. "Let them say I'm crazy, acting like a fool. They're not me, being loved ... loved by you." Swan makes a compelling case for an insanity plea.
Time of My Life
Swan's personal homage to "the greatest generation," Time of My Life is a granddaughter's gracious salute to her grandmother and to the beliefs and social mores of another era. Loving in tone, the song is filled with admiration, but is never maudlin or sentimental. There is a place for duty, for fulfilling promises, but however much it respects the past, Time of My Life also celebrates a new chapter in a long life. More than just surviving, the grandmother of Time of My Life has found fresh reasons to live. What better legacy could any generation pass along?