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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tour d' Force
This is the young lady who should have WON American Idol, but that's old news. This album, while a little too "dancy" for my taste on some tracks, showcases Melinda Doolittle's incredibly powerful and soulful voice. Thankfully, the song "Home" which she performed on American Idol in one of the best vocals in the show's history is included. This song and "Give" in...
Published 13 months ago by QuoteNotes

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars TOO BAD SHE IS NOT SPECIALIZING IN JAZZ ONLY BECAUSE THIS ...
TOO BAD SHE IS NOT SPECIALIZING IN JAZZ ONLY BECAUSE THIS IS WHERE HER STRENGTH IS. SHE WILL OUTDO DIANNE REEVES AND DEE DEE BRIDGEWATER. SHAME ON HER MANAGER DRAGGING HER INTO AREAS OF MUSIC WHERE HER NATURAL GIFT IS IN JAZZ AND BLUES.
Published 23 days ago by Ralph Kulajian


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tour d' Force, November 12, 2013
This review is from: You're the Reason (MP3 Music)
This is the young lady who should have WON American Idol, but that's old news. This album, while a little too "dancy" for my taste on some tracks, showcases Melinda Doolittle's incredibly powerful and soulful voice. Thankfully, the song "Home" which she performed on American Idol in one of the best vocals in the show's history is included. This song and "Give" in particular give me goosebumps every time I hear them. I hope music fans will embrace this album and give Miss Doolittle the recognition she so richly deserves. Bravo.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dazzling, December 16, 2013
This review is from: You're the Reason (MP3 Music)
I have been anxiously waiting new music from Miss Doolittle. This EP was more than worth the wait. Dazzling is the word I use to describe the rich lyrics, mesmerizing tone and stunning vocals. I think each of us can relate to the songs on this EP, as they tell stories of love, hope, endings, and new beginnings. "Give" is such an important song, truly perfect for reminding ourselves the importance of giving to others so that we can then receive gifts. The EP even includes a fan favorite American Idol performance, "Home", sung now in a whole new way so listeners can gain new appreciation for this gorgeous tune.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars That Voice Is The REASON I Want More!, February 13, 2014
By 
Jef Fazekas (Newport Beach, California United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: You're The Reason (Audio CD)
A lot has been said about Melinda Doolittle's time on "American Idol".....that she should have made the finale, that she should have won, that she was robbed...! While I do agree that she should have won season six, I also believe that both Jordin Sparks and Blake Lewis have proven themselves to be serious and lasting talents, so let's put the past in the past and move on.
That said, the big question now is....why isn't Melinda Doolittle a superstar?!? Hands down one of the most talented "Idol" alums, this woman should be a megastar! You could argue that personality has a lot to do with it, that she's just too nice to make it in the industry, but I'm not buying that....look at Ellen DeGeneres.
No, I think it boils down to needing to be a bit more aggressive. Doolittle seems to have a "Whatever happens, happens" attitude/approach, which just doesn't work in today's market. If the major labels aren't coming to her, she needs to go to them. If the top producers aren't knocking on her door, she's got to rap on the windows. If the best songwriters aren't offering up their talents, she's got to make that call.
Her sophomore effort is a good example of this. While YOU'RE THE REASON is a joy to listen to ~ Doolittle sounds amazing throughout! ~ the disc just leaves you wanting....more. (Part of this is the format's fault....EP's can be a dicey prospect, given their shorter length....basically, every cut has to be a masterpiece!).
I also think she needs to stretch herself a bit more. While a lot of people have put her in the straight classic Soul diva mold (ala Patti Labelle and Gladys Knight), I think there's so much more that she's capable of....visions of Tina Turner, Dionne Warwick, Natalie Cole and (especially!) Ruth Pointer keep dancing in my head, as I see Doolittle more emphatically embracing her rock, pop and jazz sides. (Heck, I can even picture a little Audra McDonald and Broadway in the mix!). Lord knows, the woman has the chops to do it!
But back to YOU'RE THE REASON. The disc opens with the lovely (and at times heart-breaking)"Never Giving Up." Doolittle's sterling lead vocal dances over the percussion-and-piano driven arrangement. There's a steeliness AND a vulnerability here that is just captivating (That said, my heart breaks every time I hear her sing the lines "I'm beautiful/No matter what they tell me"). A really, really nice way to kick things off.
I also really like "Without You", what with it's soaring lead vocal, layered backing vocals and high energy arrangement. But as good as the track is, there's also a tentativeness to it....it seems as if Doolittle wants to jump into the rock & roll pool, but instead feels (or has been told) that she can only stick her toe in the shallow end. An 8 that could have been an 11, this track proves she's a natural, more than hinting at a direction she would be wise to persue.
The disc's title track has a joyous retro soul groove to it that just makes the listener feel good (I particularly love the scratchy vinyl effect!). Doolittle's lead vocal is rich and full-bodied, gutsy and powerful, but never, ever over the top. And, once again, the backing vocals totally complement the lead (You can tell Doolittle is a former backing vocalist...her arranging skills are spot-on!). All in all, an absolute treat.
The same can be said about "Give", but for different reasons. There's a timeless feeling to the arrangement, both in the hushed moments and the sweeping ones. Doolittle's lead vocal both soothes and soars ~ there's some SERIOUS power here, as well as some AMAZING control! Toss in thoughtful lyrics ("Everybody's reaching for something/Every day, pulling and tugging/Always wanting a little more/Holding on to hurt like an anchor") and you have a song that, say, Natalie Cole would kill for! Another winner.
"I Believe In Love" is a thing of beauty, particularly the opening bars. Accompanied only by Tre' Corley's tasteful, yet eloquent, piano, Doolittle's stunning lead vocal weaves it's way around the melody. However, where most of today's singers would end up blasting it out by the end of the second verse, beginning of the third (gotta show off those runs!!), Doolittle holds back, letting the melody and instrumentation and EMOTION speak for themselves...and shine. Lovely.
Oft times the problem with putting a second version of a song on an album, particularly an EP, is that it leaves you wondering "Why?" Is it filler? Is it it meant to make the album look/seem longer? Did they run out of money? Did it rob the place of another new song? In the case of the extended version of "You're The Reason", it just made me think of all the things Doolittle could have done....a little scat, a semi-spoken interlude, etc. O.K., but I would have preferred an additional new track.
Closing things out is "Home", a beautiful slice of movie/showtime magic. Everything just works here...the regal strings, the gorgeous lead vocal, the snapping fingers over the first verse....it all just BLENDS. And that, my friends, is a testament to the power and talent of Melinda Doolittle....in most cases, a song like this would stand out like a sore thumb. In her capable hands, however, it just sparkles. Wow....just....wow!
So, where does Melinda Doolittle go from here? She's proven time and time again she's got talent, and YOU'RE THE REASON just reinforces that theory. But in today's industry, that's just not enough.
Now, she needs to play with the big boys and girls. I'd like to see her writing with everyone from Alicia Keys and Pink to Sheryl Crow and Mary J. Blige. And I still want to see her do a duet with Michael Johns! I'd also love to see her work with producers as diverse (and strong) as Rick Rubin, Prince, David Foster, Pharell Williams, Matt Serlatec and Wendy & Lisa. This is an artist who has yet to paint her masterpiece.....thing is, to do that, she's going to have to use her full palette. I've often said that if I was ever in the position, I would sign Melinda Doolittle in a heartbeat, then do everything in my power to make her a star. Here's hoping someone beats me to the punch! (As with all my reviews, I'm docking the disc half a star for not including the lyrics).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Melinda Shines in New EP, December 5, 2013
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This review is from: You're the Reason (MP3 Music)
I have been a Melinda Doolittle fan for years. Her voice is absolutely wonderful. It's nice to see more music from this brilliant vocalist and writer. The music on her new EP is breathtaking. I especially love "You're the Reason" and her awesome version of "Home." It's well worth the price.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ... woman with a voice, so full of life ~, December 21, 2013
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This review is from: You're the Reason (MP3 Music)
... so thrilled that, on this collection of songs, Ms. Melinda Doolittle made the choices that she did!!!!! Because, although, i love hearing her sing these and other ballads, the "UPBEAT" tracks on this album inspire me to walk, exercise, celebrate life, AND yes DANCE!!! not a bad thing to dance; especially at 65. I haven't enjoyed a voice as much as I do hers, in years. Ms. Doolittle; so full of life and love ... ~
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Worth the Wait!, March 2, 2014
By 
CalistaNJ (New Jersey, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: You're the Reason (MP3 Music)
I'm so glad that Melinda's sophomore effort continues to fulfill the promise that she showed on American Idol. You just can't pigeonhole this girl; she does so much so well! I love, love, love I Believe in Love (her fav on the EP); as well as I can't stop dancing (in my car or at my desk) to You're the Reason (U.R.Y.)! Every one of these songs has their own personality and each touches you in their own way. Finally, we have Melinda's version of Home (something her fans have wanted since she sang it in the Top 12 Diana Ross Week). Yes, I HIGHLY recommend this EP to Melinda's fans, old and new!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this is what good music sounds like., February 12, 2014
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This review is from: You're The Reason (Audio CD)
Absolutley love the new music from Melinda Doolittle. This is what great music sounds like. The voice, the songs, the emotion, this is a masterpiece. Yea, I will say it. Not all great music out of Tennesse is country and here's the proof.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!, November 14, 2013
This review is from: You're the Reason (MP3 Music)
Melinda is wonderful! The richness of her voice and her range amaze me. She is soooo.. easy to listen to.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding!!!, June 26, 2014
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This review is from: You're the Reason (MP3 Music)
This EP is so good, I wish it were longer. Each an every song is beautifully sung (do we really need the rap part of the extended cut, it totally interferes & distracts from her amazing voice). Loved her since idol and I wish she would record more. Heck, if she would sing a phone book - I'd buy it!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Souful, June 16, 2014
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This review is from: You're The Reason (Audio CD)
I really like Melinda Doolittle so I was thrilled to hear she had a new release. The songs on this CD are beautiful, of course. They are much more soulful and downbeat as compared to the upbeat songs on "Coming Back to You". Both CDs are great.
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You're The Reason
You're The Reason by Melinda Doolittle (Audio CD - 2013)
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