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Singing Melody - They Call Me Mr Melody

Singing Melody - They Call Me Mr Melody

Singing Melody - They Call Me Mr Melody

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A rotation favourite for Valentine's Day.


Last year when United Reggae asked the venerable Junior Murvin which younger artists he admired he had high praise for Singing Melody - who likewise acknowledged the older man's influence on his voice. As if on cue, for 2012 the member of the harmony group L.U.S.T. has released his first solo album in ten years.

Singing Melody - The Call Me Mr MelodyIn the early 1970s singers like Jimmy Cliff, Nicky Thomas and Alton Ellis sang songs that paid tribute to American soul music. 'They Call Me Mr Melody' is a continuation of that tradition except its subject draws on the more sophisticated contemporary balladeering styles that "rough and ready" old soul purists eschew. There's straight up 2000s R&B in the mode of an R Kelly or Calvin Harris (opener No More) post Dropleaf one-drop-pop (radio friendly single Collide) supper club smooth lovers (Never Get Over You) and slick gospel (closer Call On His Name).

However, should you think Mr Melody is all about the crossover he and fellow crooner Lymie Murray remind us that he's Reggae To The Bone on an organically arranged update of Alexander Henry's Please Be True rhythm. Reality themes of family breakup and bereavement are woven into the romantic messages. He's even joined by U Roy for the jaunty Smile (not to be confused with the Daddy deejay's duet with Sandra Cross of the same name) while dancehall is catered for by the Mr Vegas-like Wi Set Di Trend.

Where Junior Murvin's most famous output was delivered in a high falsetto Singing Melody prefers a slightly lower register. But we do hear a brief demonstration of his upper range in the intro to his combination Must Be The Girl with the earthy yet sugary dancehall singer Stacious. His voice has an opulence and power that cuts through the studio gloss laid by Jamaican who's who producers Donovan Germain, Dave Kelly, Fatta Marshall and Skatta Burrell. Even synth brass and strings are made to sound fat, rich and silky as the real horns and tree percussion in their hands.

For fans of the intersection between Jamaican lovers music and 21st century R&B this SHEM/Fateyes partnered, VP distributed release will be a rotation favourite for Valentine's Day.

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