12 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Like Amy Winehouse and Duffy, Canadian singer Melanie Fiona puts her own spin on classic soul and girl group sounds. The difference is that Fiona has a voice that is actually in the league of classic Motown singers like Martha Reeves and Gladys Horton. While “Bang Bang” and “Monday Morning” come off a bit canned, “Give It To Me Right,” “Walk On By” and the magnificent “You Stop My Heart” are powerful mergers of musical styles past and present. Ultimately, Fiona will have to move beyond the easy thrills of ‘60s pop appropriation, but “Ay Yo” and “Sad Songs” give some idea of where she might be headed. The latter crossbreeds deep soul and reggae, while the former is a block-party anthem reminiscent of Lauryn Hill. The Bridge is catchy enough to catch on with the masses, but it is the sweltering emotion of “It Kills Me” that will fuel Fiona’s career long after the first-album hype subsides.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Like Amy Winehouse and Duffy, Canadian singer Melanie Fiona puts her own spin on classic soul and girl group sounds. The difference is that Fiona has a voice that is actually in the league of classic Motown singers like Martha Reeves and Gladys Horton. While “Bang Bang” and “Monday Morning” come off a bit canned, “Give It To Me Right,” “Walk On By” and the magnificent “You Stop My Heart” are powerful mergers of musical styles past and present. Ultimately, Fiona will have to move beyond the easy thrills of ‘60s pop appropriation, but “Ay Yo” and “Sad Songs” give some idea of where she might be headed. The latter crossbreeds deep soul and reggae, while the former is a block-party anthem reminiscent of Lauryn Hill. The Bridge is catchy enough to catch on with the masses, but it is the sweltering emotion of “It Kills Me” that will fuel Fiona’s career long after the first-album hype subsides.

TITLE TIME

More By Melanie Fiona