Picks and Pans Review: Lucky

updated 03/08/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/08/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

Melissa Etheridge
ROCK

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"I want to see how lucky Lucky can be," sings Melissa Etheridge on the buoyant title track of her eighth studio disc. The singer-guitarist, whose nickname is Lucky, must be feeling fortunate these days, judging from the upbeat tone of her latest. After her last album, 2001's Skin, reflected the painful breakup of her 12-year relationship with filmmaker Julie Cypher, Lucky explores the happy beginnings of Etheridge's new love with actress Tammy Lynn Michaels (The L Word), whom the rocker married in a ceremony last year. Songs such as the driving midtempo "This Moment" and the country-tinged ballad "When You Find the One" are unabashedly romantic, while the acoustic-guitar-laced "Will You Still Love Me" addresses the doubts and fears that accompany any new relationship. Musically, Etheridge continues to crank out solid if unsurprising rockers. She does, however, experiment with Moby-style gospel sampling on the highlight "Tuesday Morning," which pays tribute to Mark Bingham, a gay man who on Sept. 11 helped overpower the hijackers on Flight 93 before it crashed in Pennsylvania.

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