Artist: Melanie Fiona
Album: The Bridge
Label: SRC/Universal Motown
Release date: August 18 (USA)
Each year we get one, or two if we’re lucky, supreme vocalists that break into the mainstream scene causing a very needed change in the industry, and sometimes the charts. First we had Amy Winehouse with her breakthrough hit ”Rehab”, last year it was Adele, Duffy, and Jazmine Sullivan who served it. This year it’s Toronto’s native Melanie Fiona’s turn.
Melanie is the most appealing of the current flood of soul sirens; prior to releasing any material, she opened for Kanye West’s European tour in 2008, which is a very rare feat, especially for someone as egotistic as Kanye West. Her debut album The Bridge is a best described as soulـpop, with heavy influences by the 60’s and 70’s soul scene.
The album’s sizzling opener “Give It To Me Right” is a vocal masterpiece, with fiery lyrics “Give it to me right/or don”t give it to me at all”, and subtle retro feel very reminiscent of Amy Winehouse and Duffy. “Please Don”t Go (Cry Baby)” is one of the many highs of the album, the live band feel of the song makes it extra special. “You Stop My Heart” is a tender love song, with dreamy lyrics; the song would not sound out of place on one of The Supreme’s albums. Fiona is steering clear of mainstream music, and relying more on real music and her colossal voice. The album is short of upbeat songs, the main one being “Johnny” which actually sounds like you’d hear on a 70’s movie soundtrack.
The album’s true moment is the somber “It Kills Me”, a beautiful melodramatic tour de force that showcases her vocals perfectly.
The Bridge is a moody, atmospheric effort built around Melanie”s powerhouse vocal delivery and some genuinely thrilling background drum loops and string.