I've had an appreciation for Melanie Fiona since discovering her music via ?uestlove this past summer, but I didn't consider myself a fan. When I got my hands on her debut album, The Bridge, I pressed play with no expectations. I found myself slowly drawn into Melanie's world until I was surrounded by various styles of nostalgic rhythms elevating her powerful sound. Her instrumentation, subject matters and vocal dexterity had me standing on the proverbial bridge of music appreciation with each song bringing me closer to understanding her story.
The only thing I don't like about "Priceless" is that it came out after "No One" by Alicia Keys. The production and lyrics come off as a fraternal twin to Keys' song--however, Melanie dares to go down a different path with a harder, melisma delivery. "Sad Songs" is melodious, playful with tight harmonies and explains why we often love melancholy in our music so much.
Melanie Fiona: "Priceless"
"Teach Him" is colored with Spanish guitar and serenading strings providing a stripped down production that focuses on Melanie's great voice. Fellas, find out what she really wants from you on this track.
The Toronto-native channels her inner '50s doo-woop with "You Stop My Heart" and continues her nostalgic transition into the '60s with "Bang Bang." Melanie knows how to wield the steels and she's "aiming at you" so run for cover.
"Walk On By" captures a woman's scorned heart smothered in Memphis soul, but there's definitely payback in the soul clap.
I'm gon' make it hell in your life
Melanie Fiona: "Walk on By"
Overall, I appreciate Melanie's decision to forego the luster and sheen of her peers and approach The Bridge with a balanced blend of gritty production layered within universal stories of love.