Do you really hate Britney so much you'd rather your daughter idolize a smug little acoustic princess like Michelle Branch? Sure, I'm with you--ideally a forced feeding of Sleater-Kinney and Polly Jean Harvey would allow blossoms of self-determination to sprout forth from your darling seed's imagination. But though some kids will cruise the aesthetic back roads, adolescence is, for most of us, an interstate of the soul, a bleak stretch with only the most standardized corporate sustenance available. When you pull off the freeway, you've got Taco Bell, you've got Wendy's, take your pick. Michelle Branch is the Wendy's of teen pop--the same old glop camouflaged with "classier" presentation. Her much-vaunted ability to write her own songs is the equivalent of a crisper leaf of lettuce and an extra half-strip of bacon slopped on the same charred sliver... More >>>