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MELANIE FIONA The Bridge (Island) w

REMEMBER the first time you heard Macy Gray? Your first encounter with Amy Winehouse? Then be prepared to be blown away by Canadian R& B singer Melanie Fiona, whose smouldering debut album will surely make her one of the most talked about newcomers of '09.

This is contemporary pop shot through with Motown and classic soul, almost every song a radio-friendly hit in waiting. No wonder Kanye West has taken her under his wing.

Opener Give It To Me Right, built on sampled Zombies classic Time Of The Season, sets the tone, Fiona's smoky soul voice riding reedy organ and scratchy sixties drums.

Both Monday Morning and Please Don't Go could be classic Tamla tunes, while You Stop My Heart sounds even earlier, a pop ballad from the cusp of the 1950s and 1960s.

But Ay -Yo is 21st century chart pop; the likes of Walk On By and bonus track G.A.M. Amy-style relationship rants; Sad Song's title belied by its reggae beat.

If there's a weakness, it's that the album should have stopped short of the two bland ballads that bring the show to a close. Less can often be more. PC
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Article Type:Sound recording review
Date:Aug 23, 2009
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