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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliance + patience = deserved superstardom!
It was hearing "Monday Morning" non-stop in Croatia during the summer of 2009 that I finally became deterined to hear who was the artist with the gifted voice delivering such an emotional punch. Melanie's debut album "The Bridge" was good. "Give It to me Right" is an instant classic but overall the songs did not leave a lasting impact....

Three years later and...
Published on March 20, 2012 by Music lover "tom"

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely
Not bad, she is a little loud for me sometimes, but I would still recommend it.
Published 2 months ago by Joyce McNair Eubanks


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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliance + patience = deserved superstardom!, March 20, 2012
It was hearing "Monday Morning" non-stop in Croatia during the summer of 2009 that I finally became deterined to hear who was the artist with the gifted voice delivering such an emotional punch. Melanie's debut album "The Bridge" was good. "Give It to me Right" is an instant classic but overall the songs did not leave a lasting impact....

Three years later and after nearly a year delay; Melanie has returned with the album she has said "truly reflects who I am as a songwriter and artist." The result: sheer brilliance. There are several different genres of music from old skool rnb, to hip hop to dance / club but to her credit this album sounds highly refined, polished and unified. Think of how Adele's 21 was an improvement over 19. The diamond has finally been polished and revealed

"Change the Records" with B.o.b, "Bones" and "4 AM" will be tracks that you will play in heavy rotation.

Caution: Please do not judge the songs by listening to the 30 sec snippets as they will not give you a true picture to the depth and quality of the tracks, Try instead to visit her official website and watch her 2 part short interviews where she explains the story behind each song and their meaning. All the while you hear the each song for over a full minute in the background. This is what impressed me.

Of the 2 versions of MF LIfe, buy the one with the four bonus tracks. "Rock, Paper, Scissors" could easily be released as a single.

My ONLY DISAPPOINTMENT: Why was "Fool for You" a track she sang with Cee-Lo and won a Grammy for not included? It doesn't appear on any of the 3 editions / re-editions of Cee-Lo's "The Lady Killer?" I don't know why record companies do not want to reward true fans who still relish having a physical copy of our favourite music over a poorer quality mp3 digital file!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Sophomore Slump Here! MF'n great!, March 31, 2012
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I write very few reviews because I'm usually not passionate about most things that I purchase. That is usually the case when it comes to music nowadays. I've heard very few R&B/Soul albums that I can be enthusiastic about. This album earned my attention.

I will be as objective as possible. Yes, she is beautiful but that has no bearing on my opinion toward her music. There are plenty of gorgeous and boring or untalented singers out there. She just happens to be beautiful and talented and soulful.

First off, there isn't a bad track on the album. Every song shows some attention to detail, effort in writing and production. THERE IS NO FILLER HERE! Every song on here is better than the majority of the music released these days. Most artists could only hope to create songs with a fraction of the quality that she puts forth. This is not the greatest album I've ever heard but it would definitely go down as notable and worthy of listening to. I've listened through the whole thing about 8 or 9 times, at this point in time, and I find something new to love about it every time I listen.

I think one of the things that made her last album stand out was its old school feel. She has a more modern sound on this album, although a few songs still reflect an "old soul". She did not sell out, just upgraded. Another quality that she possesses that a number of R&B/Soul artists lack, is the ability to pull off an uptempo song without it sounding forced or corny. She is not restricted to ballads. "Bang Bang" was my favorite song on the first album because it was so rhythmic and authentic.

I was a little nervous initially when I saw all of the rapper cameos on the track listing. Usually when a singer starts to co-mingle their work with rappers, its not good (i.e. Mariah Carey). Surprisingly enough, they all fit well and they all worked for me. Most of the rappers featured, I'm not really a fan of, but they were matched well with their respective songs. There's nothing I hate worse than a rapper cameo that doesn't match the song. Fortunately, they must have all listened to the song lyrics several times before they laid down their tracks. So let me give my opinion track by track:

1) This Time (feat. J. Cole) - All I can say is wow! If this track doesn't grab your attention right off the back, you have no soul! The beat, for lack of a better phrase, "goes hard". The song itself has great lyrics and gets stuck in your head. J. Cole represents on the track and adds to it. On the right sound system, the track is absolutely amazing. Probably my favorite overall. (5 stars)

2) 4 AM - Great song, as most people have already heard. Wasn't crazy about on the radio before but now I love it. Grew on me immensely. The words of the song grabbed me after a while, really captured the emotion. Very unique sound. (5 stars)

3) Break Down These Walls - Could be considered a great folk song. Again great writing and amazing production. I love stringed instruments and piano, so this track has my full attention. The guitar duet at the end of this song is SICK! Even though its a minute and a half, you don't want it to end. Absolutely amazing artistry, like something Kravitz, Santana or Clapton would do. (5 stars)

4) I Been That Girl - Mellow, poignant. This one is for ladies who have been in that not-so-unique situation. Very nice. (4 stars)

5) Wrong Side of A Love Song - Deeply soulful with an old school sound to it. Rich and engaging. Full of emotion. (5 stars)

6) Running (feat. Nas) - Old school uptempo sound. Riding down the street, blasting-out-of-your-car-type track. Nas is no longer one of my favorite rappers but he pulls off an admirable cameo, which adds a lot to the song. He tells the rest of the story that she doesn't have time to do. (4.5 stars)

7) Change the Record (feat. B.O.B.) - You will get sucked in as soon as you hear the opening and then the beat drop. You have to hear it to appreciate it. This contends with "This Time" for hottest beat. And the real surprise was B.O.B. I'm not a huge fan of his but he destroys this track! One of the best cameos I've ever heard. He made an amazing track incredible. Have to listen to this one in the car. (5 stars)

8) Gone and Never Coming Back - If you've ever heard this track, then you know how amazing it is. I wore it out within a week but still love it. I was so impressed with this track when I heard it, that I was afraid that it would be the best track on the album, and overshadow all others. Not the case. If you've never heard it before, then it will probably be your favorite. The only reason that its not still my favorite is because she released it more than 8 months before the rest of the album, and I've played it to death. (5 stars)

9) Bones - Great song, old school feel, kind of cool, kind of creepy at the same time. Just reminds me of how deep some people's feelings can be for someone else. I like it but don't love it. (3.5 stars)

10) Watch Me Work - New anthem for the sexy single person. Old school funk sound. Amazing guitars and drums. If I could have theme music played everywhere I went, this would definitely be one of the songs I would choose. This one stands out from the rest of the album. It appeals to both males and females but it is obviously about a woman. (5 stars)

11) Can't Say I Never Loved You - Sounds like a cross between Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat with that ukelele sound. A lot more soulful than those two. Its not an imitation of anyone else but reminds me of other songs I've heard. Great song nonetheless, really cute and carefree. (4 stars)

12) L.O.V.E. (feat. John Legend) - Kind of cheesy hippie-type song. I admire John Legend but I'm not a huge fan. This sounds like his song featuring Melanie Fiona. Its a great song for MLK day but other than that, doesn't do a whole lot for me. (3 stars)

13) 6 AM (feat. T-Pain) - Let me start by saying, I am not a fan of T-Pain in the least. Often, I can't stand his buffoonery or coonish behavior, but for some reason this track works. Understand that the only justification for this song's existence is that it is a continuation of the story of "4 AM", basically when her man finally gets home. It is urban contemporary and auto-tuning (not Melanie) at its finest. Great beat, I could imagine dancing to this in a party, right after they played "4 AM". It is a little ignorant on his part but in the appropriate environment, very enjoyable. (3 stars on this album, 4.5 stars in the club)

BONUS TRACKS:

14) Rock Paper Scissors - Old school feel but a little formulaic. Doesn't strike me as the most original song, guess that's why it is a bonus track. I like it, I just don't love it. Nice beat, slightly cheesy chorus. Lyrics are cool when you catch the concept of the song. (3.5 stars)

15) Can't Do This No More - Nice production, great lyrics, great hook. Don't know why this one is bonus track. I would have replace "Bones" or "L.O.V.E." with this one. (4.5 stars)

16) What Am I To Do - Interesting song. Really like the piano. Doesn't really do anything for me but not a bad song. Maybe a little formulaic. (3.5 stars)

17) Like I Love You - Dancehall reggae classic sound. Absolutely love this song! Makes me wanna go to a reggae party. Don't know why this was a bonus track, just like "Can't Do This No More", could have easily replaced "Bones" or "L.O.V.E.". Great way to end the album. She really embraces her Guyanese roots on this track. It will make you want to get up and dance with someone. (5 stars)

Well, that's my overview of the album. If you enjoy R&B/Soul or good Urban Contemporary, you should pick up this album. Drop a few extra bucks and get the deluxe edition, two of the tracks are definitely worth it, you might also really like the other two.

Peace

Good Job Melanie!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The wait is finally over..., March 20, 2012
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This review is from: The MF Life (Audio CD)
For 3 years, I have been waiting patiently for Melanie Fiona's second album, since falling in love with It Kills Me and Give It To Me Right, and the wait has been worth it. This is one of the greatest Soul/RB album I've had the privilege of owning in a long time. The album has a modern soul beat mixed in with a classic oldies sound. Songs like Running, This Time, and Watch Me Work have me up and dancing while others like Gone and Never Coming Back and Wrong Side of A Love Song pull at the heart strings. The Bridge was a great album, but The MF Life is phenomenal and beyond any sort of expectations I ever had. Melanie Fiona is one of the most genuine, gifted, and talented female vocalists out there today yet still falls under the radar to many music fans. This is one of those albums that will only get better in time. Melanie is the real deal and 2012 belongs to her!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, the best R&B album this year, so far, March 29, 2012
This review is from: The MF Life (Audio CD)
I've been a fan of Melanie Fiona since I heard her first singles "It Kills Me" and "Give It To Me Right". Those were excellent songs, and I fell in love with her voice. Melanie's debut album, "The Bridge", had some other moments that were good. However, some of the album fell flat. After listening to her sophomore album, "The MF Life", I remain a fan. In fact, I am now a bigger fan. "The MF Life" is an excellent album throughout. It is a much stronger album than "The Bridge". If an artist can improve on their sophomore album, then they likely will be around for awhile.

"The MF Life" draws primarily from R&B/soul music (of course). It has elements of hip-hop (there are guest spots by J. Cole, Nas, and B.o.B). It also has smaller elements of rock, reggae, and electronica. It is informed by both contemporary R&B and classic R&B (if fact, more of the later). Melanie has strong pipes, and they are showcased in each song. Every song on the album deal with the highly emotion sides of love (sometimes good, sometimes bad - but mostly bad). The lyrics are rarely joyful. Each song on the album is well crafted and has excellent beats. Kudos to all the production teams involved with this album.

My favorite six songs on the album are "This Time", "4 AM", "Running", "Change The Record", "I Been That Girl", and "Wrong Side of a Love Song". "4AM" is similar to some of music on Drake's album "Take Care". It mixes R&B with down-tempo electronica. Speaking of Drake, he co-wrote "I've Been That Girl". The most upbeat songs on the album are "This Time" (ft. J. Cole) and "Change The Record" (ft. B.o.B). These are excellent pieces of contemporary R&B. "Change The Record" is the catchiest song on the album; it is the song most likely to cross Melanie over into the top 40 charts. "Running" (ft. Nas) and "Wrong Side of a Love Song" are based on 70s R&B, although "Running" adds hip-hop. J. Cole, Nas, and B.o.B's verses are all hot.

My only complains about the album is that perhaps it could have included a few non-love party songs, and that is light on songs that are Caribbean-oriented. Melanie does reggae well, when she does it.

"The MF Life" is (in my opinion) the best R&B album released this year, so far.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's like a good home cooked meal, April 13, 2012
This review is from: The MF Life (Audio CD)
This album is so needed. In a arena that's full of synthesizer beats and shallow vocals...watered down and robotized....this album just feels so so good. It doesn't just stop at the ears, it goes past that and reaches you deep down where it counts. Her vocals are beautiful, rich, and smokey. It's the type of album that makes you close your eyes, nod your head and just smile because it's that smooth going down. I purchased the deluxe album which has like 18 singles...some of which are unnecessary. Bones is probably the only one that I really dislike because it just sounds creepy and I don't really like it.

She's so overlooked and poorly promoted. I actually think she did a better job promoting herself with The Bridge. I was very disappointed that her duet with Cee-lo Green wasn't on here. I would love to see them perform it on his show The Voice. Melanie is amazing live.
Stand outs
1. This Time
2. 4AM
3. Break Down These Walls (LOVE LOVE)
4. Wrong Side of the Love Song
5. Change the Record (LOVE LOVE LOVE)
6. Watch Me Work
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Soul Album, March 21, 2012
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Much more consistant, alot better content than her first album. This should be one of the best soul and r&b albums of the year. I like that fact that she kept the true soul music sound considering that soul music as it stands today is slowly dying. Homegirl did her thing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Most Solid R&B Album of 2012 Thus Far, March 21, 2012
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This review is from: The MF Life (Audio CD)
Melanie Fiona surprised me with her sophomore album! I picked up her debut "The Bridge", because I feel in love with the amazing single "It Kill's Me", as a lot of people did. However, after buying that album I felt it lacked consistency. I understand that she was blending together different inspirations to go along with her smooth R&B voice, like rock and pop, although it was done in a way that was a bit amateur.

However, "The MF Life" is extremely impressive. First off, her voice is magnificent on the album. Her smooth, rich, and deep soulful tone satisfies the listening ear. What makes this album incredible is the throwback vibes of old school soul and R&B. The album could almost be compared as the female version of Cee-Lo's "The Lady Killer". The album was delayed a few times, and I'm glad Melanie and her team took the time to craft this album to perfection.

Stand Out Tracks
"Bones", "Wrong Side of The Love Song", "L.O.V.E", "I Been That Girl", and "6 AM", but the entire album is very solid.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally underated!, December 10, 2012
Melanie Fiona has quickly become one of my favorites! While she IS getting a bit more recognition, she deserves sooo much more! She has one of the richest voices I've heard in a very long time. I can listen to this album, and the last one, from start to finish and enjoy every song. Her music possesses this new age vibe while still having the vocal brilliance that made people stars back in the day. I wish continued success to an amazing talent. If she keeps making music, I'll keep buying it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get this...a classic Album...5 stars, December 7, 2012
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So I bought this album when it first came out. I love Melanie's voice she is a great singer and artist. She sings from the depths of her soul....LOVE LOVE the album.

The reason why I am writing this review is that I CANT BELIEVE THIS ALBUM HAS A RATING OF 4 STARS!!!!

FORGIVE ME FOR THE CAPS BUT I HAVE TO GO INNNNN. THIS IS A GREAT ALBUM FROM BEGINNING TO END...what exactly the low raters didn't like I do not know because I do not have any dislikes on this album at all.
I do not have any complaints when a artist stays true to their artistry and Melanie has done that. I just wish artist like her are recognized more instead of the POP stuff that the radio constantly plays.

Any way hopefully my 1 star rating will get this to a 5 star. This album is a must have GET IT, GET IT, GET IT.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The MF Life, 4.5 stars, September 16, 2012
By 
Geminigirl (Philadelphia, PA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The MF Life (Audio CD)
Melanie Fiona is one of many super-talented vocalists who a majority of people agree can really 'sang' yet are not passionate enough about her to support her albums. She is beautiful, drama free & seemingly normal which unfortunately in these times makes her easy to ignore. Also her promotion sucks - if the label wants her to appeal to a broader audience, they have to do a better job of making her known to that audience. I also wish that they had selected one of the uptempo songs to launch the album so that people wouldn't label her the "sad breakup ballad queen" and write this album off.

This is a great album and seems to follow my personal theory that artists go "all in" when constructing their sophomore albums in an effort to build on the success of their debuts. Melanie certainly fits my theory - this album has a great variety of sounds from old school r&b to hip-hop influenced contemporary r&b which should appeal to a wide audience...if only her label would release more than 1 or 2 singles.

My favorite tracks are:

WATCH ME WORK - this uptempo rock/soul track could've arguably been the perfect lead single since it's such an unexpected sound from Melanie;

4AM - smoking ballad about a woman done wrong by her man;

THIS TIME (f/ Jay Cole) - uptempo hip-hop sounding track this is great way to open the album;

BONES - features lyrics about loving a man so much that she wants to invade his body right down to his bones (love the almost eery sounding chorus of "ooo's");

6AM (f/ T-Pain) - yes Mr. Auto-Tune himself. I am NOT a fan of T-Pain but I really like this track as he & Melanie trade verses arguing about him coming home at 6AM (I was however appalled at the very long list of contributers/producers of this track);

WRONG SIDE OF A LOVE SONG & CAN'T DO THIS NO MORE - remind me of tracks from the 70's production wise with their searing lyrics;

I BEEN THAT GIRL - track containing a message from the ex-girl to the next girl;

RUNNING (f/ Nas) - anthemic smoky track on which Nas complements the song without taking over;

WHAT AM I TO DO - beautiful melodic track
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The MF Life
The MF Life by Melanie Fiona (Audio CD - 2012)
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