If you haven’t guessed it by this point, I really enjoy Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. I also feel like he offers a pretty eclectic music platform, both for artists to perform at the end of the show or to sit in with The Roots during the normal show. A few weeks ago, a lovely woman was on who blew me away. I forgot to write down her name, but when they re-ran the episode, I made sure to jot it down. Tonight, we’re going to check out The MF Life by Melanie Fiona.
The album opens with the strong track This Time. There are some heavy beats going on behind this wonderful R&B voice who reminds me of a combination of Beyonce and Fantasia (you remember her? American Idol? VH1 show?). Her vocals are so beautiful and melt wonderfully over the slightly hip-hopped influenced back track. A guest spot from J. Cole only adds to the song.
I don’t know if I’ve heard it on the radio or if she performed it on Late Night, but 4AM follows next and is more on the slower side of the R&B spectrum. The lyrics remind me of the intensity of Rihanna’s song Breakin Dishes, but with a slower pace and different vocal tone.
Change the Record is a particularly good song and one of my favorites. It’s upbeat and makes you want to move, but the lyrics aren’t want you’d expect from the tempo of the song. If you can do better, then do better. If you don’t like how he’s playing then change the record. To make it better, B.o.B. steps in on this one for a verse.
There’s a pretty nice selection of guest appearances on this album. L.O.V.E brings a very pop-ish and bubbly vibe and sweet lyrics. And some John Legend. You decide which is the best part. Immediately following that one is 6AM with a hop-in by T-Pain. You can probably imagine how this song goes – and how much auto tune is being used. Melanie’s smooth vocals are the saving grace.
What Am I To Do has some beautiful piano and drum working happening to layer on with some experimental sounds and Melanie’s vocals. A lot of the songs on this record have a rather hopeless feeling about relationships, but this one feels a little better – at least there’s no hints of a cheating womanizer around.
The album wraps up with Like I Love You, an almost reggae feeling track that’s a strong end to the album. The vocals sound really bold and in-your-face almost. I actually get a really weird nod to The Cure in this one, though I’m not sure that’s so deliberate.
I was impressed with Melanie Fiona when she was on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon but I’m even more impressed after this album. It’s her second release, and that’s saying something great for her. I loved the tracks that were on this and there weren’t any that I wanted to skip over. The guest appearances from people like John Legend and J. Cole also kept things interesting. I would recommend this to anyone who loves some great female pop acts. I’m pretty sure you’ll find this in the same vein and enjoy it as much as I did.
Change the Record (track 7)
4AM (track 2)
Like I Love You (track 17)