BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
Michelle Malone still appears like she has something to prove. Despite a remarkable 20 year career and a like number of albums released in that expanse of time, this Georgia native is still looking to find the wider audience she deserves. Her new album Stronger Than You Think seems intended to make that point, from its defiant title to songs soaked in the strains of the Stones, Joan Jett, Green Day and countless other rockers who chose to lift a middle finger in rugged defiance. She manages to convey that impression with an obvious southern swagger, as initiated on opening track “Stomping Ground,” and continuing through such autobiographical entries as “My Favorite Tshirt,” “When I Grow Up” and “Ashes.” “I’ve always been in trouble and trouble always been in me,” she declares on “Vivian Vegas,” another of those songs built on sass and insurgence.
In essence, this is Malone’s strongest statement to date. It’s an arched, intensive declaration of self which finds her insisting that even two decades later, she’s more committed to the cause than ever. Yet if she seems a bit more demonstrative than she need be, she remedies it all with the album’s final offerings — a heartfelt tribute to an ageing parent, “Ramona,” a rousing homage to a newborn, “Birthday Song (I’m So Glad),” and the cheery chat-fest “Fish Up A Tree.”
Consequently, with Stronger Than You Think, Michelle Malone proves that diehard confidence can frequently be captivating.
DOWNLOAD: “My Favorite Tshirt,” “Vivian Vegas,” “Birthday Song (I’m So Glad)”