Earlier this year back in April Melissa Etheridge released her new album The Medicine Show. It is incredibly the rock veteran’s 15th studio recording. In short, a number of tracks already stand out as noteworthy, in particular Here Comes the Pain, which touches on the opioid crisis I keep hearing about and Last Hello, a beautiful song dedicated to the survivors of the Parkland school shootings. But you know what I’m not here really to talk about Etheridge’s new album. In truth, I briefly want to go back to where my appreciation for Etheridge first began with a song called Like The Way I Do.
Melissa Etheridge first bursts onto the music scene in 1988 with her single Bring Me Some Water from her acclaimed self-titled debut album. The buzz around Etheridge and that vibrant song made music enthusiasts sit up and pay attention to what she had to say. While many people didn’t know it at the time, Etheridge was singing about her fit of jealousy and fear over her agreement of entering into an open relationship with her girlfriend. Of course, that tidbit didn’t stop us from appreciating its sentiment. Interestingly, an array of other songs on her debut album also dealt with the same subject matter of lovers’ infidelity, especially on the song that introduced me to Etheridge, her timeless second single Like The Way I Do.
I think today it is still hauntingly beautiful. I love the way her raspy vocals get down to business with the opening salvo of the first verse of the song, all the while as she emphatically strums her guitar in defiance and anger. Then, almost unashamedly before we know it, she is pleading and commanding us to hear her pain by the time the chorus comes around. Anyway there is no point me explaining it any further, please simply take a moment to listen to it here below. But first here’s what Meissa Etheridge says about her song in her book The Truth Is…My Life In Love and Music:
“Like the Way I Do is definitely one of my best songs. It is filled with passion and agony and desire and utter gut-wrenching pain. If you’ve ever seen me in concert, you know that when I perform that song, it becomes a part of me. It’s a transforming song for both the audience and me.”