Put Your Records On: Michelle Branch’s ‘The Spirit Room’ Celebrates 12 Years

Welcome to Put Your Records On, where music enthusiasts dive in to the stories behind the records that have shaped us into the people we are today. Join the group here and tell us your story!

Today is the 12 year anniversary of Michelle Branch‘s first album, The Spirit Room. On August 14, 2001, my world of music was forever changed. The Spirit Room started everything for me when it came to music. Twelve years later, and it’s still a favorite in my collection. The booklet is worn out, the CD mildly scratched but plays beautifully and the case has a tiny crack from when I dropped it on the floor of my middle school. All of these things matter when it comes to owning records. It’s what makes them personal. They all have a story.

I remember listening to this album after 9/11 a lot. I remember that smell that lingered over New York City for months. I was 13 at the time and I was confused about a lot of things, but music made it better. Now that I’m older, as I listen to The Spirit Room, I can’t help but reminisce on my life twelve years ago and compare it to where I am now. I’ve come a long way, and that makes me proud. Music is so universal and I love when you can keep coming back to an album and find little things you never found before. I know I say this a lot, but it’s crazy that you can listen to the same songs over and over again and never quite grasp their meaning until one day that song is your life! It really comes out of nowhere and the beauty of that is astounding.

Fun fact: The Spirit Room got a cover makeover in 2002. Why? I have no idea and I did not approve. There’s nothing wrong with the new cover, I just always associate The Spirit Room with it’s original cover.

Today, Michelle posted this photo on Instagram with the caption: Today is the 12 year anniversary of my first album The Spirit Room. The title was inspired by this picture. It’s a bar in Jerome, Az that I’ve actually never stepped foot in (I was too young!) ✨”

I love that no matter where I am or what I may go through in life, I can always go back to The Spirit Room. To me, TSR represents my journey from young adult to adulthood. I think the lyric “I was weak and you were strong, and me and my guitar, we strummed along” says it all.

Thank you, Michelle, for making such a wonderful debut album and for touching the hearts of so many lives with your music.

“You’re in everyone I see, so tell me, do you see me?”

I invite you in to The Spirit Room. Press play. ♥