Released: October 1971
Chart Peak: #15
Weeks Charted: 27
Certified Gold: 6/13/72
If you're a Melanie devotee, you've probably grabbed yourself a copy of this album by now. If you're one of those people who summarily rejected Melanie back around "Beautiful People," maybe it's time you had another listen. What she's doing now really deserves your attention. She has developed into one of our premier songwriters, and her voice has filled out to become remarkably assured. Gather Me is an album of surprises. Melanie skips around from introspective "price of fame" songs to happy vocal riffs to unabashed camp, and just when you think you've got her drift, she takes you off in another direction. With some artists this could make for a pretty distracting record, but Melanie has just what it takes to pull it off. "Ring The Living Bell," one of those incredibly vibrant and distinctly Melanie songs, is magic. "Steppin'," about recovering from a lost love affair, is sophisticated and wise; it's easily among Melanie's strongest lyrical achievements.
This beautiful package is Melanie's first for the new label. Still produced by Peter Schekeryk, she is at her plaintive best with "Little Bit of Me." The imagery of "Baby Day" explores new depths of awareness. Also incorporated is her latest single, "Brand New Key." Both Top 40 and FM programmers have much from which to choose.
- Billboard, 1972.
Unlike my straightlaced friends, I've always dug the idea of Melanie -- Edith Piaf as Brooklyn waif, preaching the hippie gospel in that absurdly flexible and resonant alto. But I've found the reality cloying. Here she grows up just enough. "Brand New Key" is one of those impossible celebrations of teen libido that renew one's faith in AM radio. "Steppin'" is the best breakup song since "It's Too Late," and though side two slips badly toward the end, she's rarely a simp this time out. B+
- Robert Christgau, Christgau's Record Guide, 1981.
Gather Me, the first release on the label founded by Melanie and husband Schekeryk, was a winning effort that housed "Brand New Key" and the equally wonderful "Ring the Living Bell." * * * *
- Christopher Scapelliti, Musichound Rock: The Essential Album Guide, 1996.
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