American Idol alum Melinda Doolittle is back with a brand new EP, ‘You’re the Reason’, which was previewed by the first single “Never Giving Up”, released last month. With the release of this EP, she demonstrates why she is one of the best singers to have graced music reality shows by re-introducing us to her voice and vocal prowess. This time round she goes even further by co-writing some of the songs on the album.
Melinda revealed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that love is the inspiration behind this record. Interestingly enough, listening to this record is almost like reading a story of various aspects of love – self-love, love in relationships, etc. Also, there is a certain flow from song to song, whether it is the music or the lyrics. For instance, after the first track “Never Giving Up”, the rock-tinged song “Without You” comes in and declares a sort of self-empowering message. I vaguely remember that she did mention during American Idol days that rock was not her thing, but as this song (and also her performance of “Have a Nice Day” on American Idol) demonstrates, she can sure do anything.
Next up is “You’re the Reason” is the most upbeat and “groovy” song on the record, just before the big ballad that is “Give”. I particularly like the lyrics in the chorus of the latter –“If you want to get love, give it… If you want a friend, be one …” – because they remind us to give. I think very often we tend to demand from others, rather than just give of ourselves.
Just when you think that she can only do big songs and sing with her big voice, she tones it down and shows that she can do subtle as well on “I Believe in Love”. I think one of the main problems with (most) singers these days is that they tend to give us very in-the-face type of delivery/ interpretation, without phrasing or internalising the lyrics of the songs, and in doing so often neglecting the nuances of the songs. In other words, they cannot do subtle. The sense of ebb and flow is missing, and they tend to just push the music right in your face, if you know what I mean.
Anyway, the album then returns back on track with a remix of “You’re the Reason”, featuring a rap by W.I.T., who enlivens the track and brings a different dimension to it. Melinda then concludes the album with her amazing rendition of “Home”, a song from the Broadway musical The Wiz, which she famously dropped the lyrics “I wish I was home” during her performance on American Idol.
While she dabbles in different genres on this EP, she still retains a very soulful and R&B focus, coupled with her unique delivery style. I do not know why I have so many things to write about even though the EP only has 7 songs (with 1 being a remix), but I am truly inspired by her music. I usually do not have the practice of buying MP3 albums because I still prefer physical copies, but unfortunately I have to this time. I am glad I did though, because I totally enjoyed the album, and this will definitely be one of my favourites of all-time.
P.S. I am unable to find her songs on youtube (except her performance of “Home” on American Idol) to place on my blog unfortunately.