Melanie Fiona – The MF Life | Album Review

Having begun her ventures in music with a brief encounter in former band XQuisite, R&B singer/songwriter Melanie Fiona launched her solo career with her debut album The Bridge in 2009, earning her first Grammy award nomination for hit single “It Kills Me.” The Canadian singer is back with her sophomore album, The MF Life, packed with emotion as she delves deeper.

The LP reveals the many sides of the singer’s life; “It’s about the balance of life, the yin and the yang, the good and the bad, all of that,” says Fiona. Making her mark with her powerful vocal chords, the Grammy Award winning artist eases into the project with “This Time;” an upbeat radio-friendly cut featuring Roc Nation’s first signed rapper J.Cole with No I.D on production, followed by catchy single “4AM.”

Enlisting a stellar collaborative team for The Bridge, production credits feature the likes of Rico Love, Jack Splash, T-Pain (who produced and features on “6am“; working as a sequel to his single “5 O’Clock”) and Dwayne ‘Supa Dups’ Chin Quee (on bonus track “Like I Love You”).

No I.D is the most prominent producer on the album -laying hands on “This Time,” “Break Down These Walls” and “L.O.V.E” featuring John Legend – whilst the Salaam Remi produced “Running” stands out as an album highlight, featuring Brooklyn rapper Nas.

Giving listeners who have followed her musical career something to reminisce on the past “It Kills Me” days, Fiona is assisted by love-song lyrical connoisseur Drake further along in the project; as the rapper lends a hand co-writing the T-Minus produced “I Been That Girl.”

Slowing the pace, heartfelt ballad “Gone and Never Coming Back” tells an emotional tale of the singer’s ups and downs during a relationship. Focusing primarily on the topic of love, heartbreak and moving on, Fiona full vocal strength comes through ballads such as this – giving listeners a chance to fully relate to the vulnerability that comes across through her lyrics and delivery.

Channelling a reggae vibe with a lighter love song on “Can’t Say I Never Loved You,” Fiona takes things uptempo with the pop/rock influenced “Watch Me Work”; a feel-good, energetic electric guitar-infused anthem. Bonus tracks are also notable, including “Gone (La Dada Di)” featuring West Coast rap legend Snoop Dogg, and “Rock, Paper, Scissors.”

Balancing emotive ballads, feel-good songs and radio friendly club hits, The MF Life reflects Melanie Fiona’s vocal and creative growth. Since its official release, the album has reached number seven on the US Billboard chart – three positions behind her debut project. Given time, that is sure to change.

Melanie Fiona – The MF Life
Released: March 20, 2012
Label: SRC/Universal Republic

Buy: iTunes UK / iTunes US (Deluxe Version) / /

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