In looking back on Melissa Etheridge's career so far, it would be easy to gloss over her musical achievements and focus on her public persona. As one of the country's first out-and-proud lesbian musicians, she became an advocate for gay rights and a matriarch for the modern family. Her two high-profile relationships included a supporting role from sperm donor David Crosby, fights for same-sex marriage and publicized breakups. Add to that a battle with breast cancer, and you've got enough heartache and triumph to fill a few more albums. Etheridge's latest, the appropriately titled Fearless Love, displays an unbreakable heart, thanks to wise, generous songs. Love also returns to the rootsy rock & roll of her earliest recordings, but an arena-ready sheen helps many of these songs shoot for the rafters.
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