Melanie Durrant | Where I’m At

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Canadian alternative R&B star Melanie Durrant releases her latest project, Where I’m At

In the next few weeks, Canada will celebrate The Juno Awards, the equivalent to The Grammy Awards in the U.S. Though Toronto, Canada native and 3-time Juno nominated Melanie Durrant (“Made for Love,” “Gone” and “Four Seasons”) has scored consistently in the Canadian R&B market, her last full-length in 2015, Anticipation – recalling Motown Records heyday – succeeded on a worldwide level with over 3.5 million Spotify listeners along with a Sirius XM Indie Award nomination. The singer/songwriter’s resume include shared stage appearances with Common and Jill Scott.

Durrant’s keen inspirational choices draw upon soul music greats from Marvin (Gaye) to Minnie (Riperton). But because of her skills incorporating reggae, rock, swing, and other genres into her playful and passionate soul kissed vocals, Durrant has achieved her own artistic identity in an almost twenty year career.

The latest for Durrant through her Melo-D, Inc. moniker, entitled Where I’m At, shifts away from Motown in showcasing her impressive musicality. Coming out of the gate, the CD’s first single, “Listen,” illustrates a hip-hop edged canvas regarding emotional abusive relationships and how the victim turns toward victory over her circumstances. “Good Stuff” takes its cue from Durrant’s lovers rock hit “Made for Love.” The hooks of the early 70’s smash “Get it On” by T. Rex and sandpaper drum pads resonate on the rock/R&B track, “Ride with Me.”

Where this project falls short are “One in A Million” and “High on Love” that is bogged down with cliché arrangements where Durrant’s usually confident vocals are underwhelming. Yet the delights outweigh the disappointments. One of Where I’m At’s highest points reaches back to the vibe of Anticipation with the do wop’esqe, “I Cried,” complete with a la-la-la chorus. “Dirty Shirley” shimmies its way with a contagious bass line and the best overall hooks gracing Where I’m At. A riveting contemporary Latin kick sparks “Still Lovin You” as the baritone sax heads the rhythm section sealed with guitar fills and luscious backing harmonies. Despite the few hiccups, Where I’m At is a welcome alternative in today’s R&B landscape and hopefully will garner enough attention to make a dent on the U.S. charts in the near future. Three-and-three quarter stars out of five.

Peggy Oliver
The Urban Music Scene

MORE Music Reviews on T.U.M.S.!:

Carmen Rodgers | Hello Human, Vol. 1 (EP)
Marvin Sapp | Chosen Vessel
Toni Braxton | Spell My Name
Kem | Love Always Wins
Ledisi | The Wild Card
Brandy | B7
K-Ci Hailey | Jesus Saves
Paulette McWilliams Digs Deep Into Introspection On Career-Best Project, "A Woman's Story"
Ricky Dillard | Choirmaster
Kelly Rowland | Coffee
Boney James | Solid
Keyboardist Jason Miles Big-Ups Black Icons with Black Magic
Sophisticated Soul Singer Will Downing Salutes Baritone Vocal Classics On Romantique Part 2
Second Outing from Corea McBride & Blade Finds Trio as Virtuous and Versatile as Ever
Fantasia | Sketchbook
Raphael Saadiq | Jimmy Lee
Poncho Sanchez | Trane's Delight
Jéssica Pina | Essência
Legends The Mighty O'Jays Bow Out with Soulful Sense of Purpose
Kirk Franklin | LONG LIVE LOVE
Amazing Grace: Aretha Brings The Mountaintop Down to South Central L.A.
New Orleans Offers Up A Sassy Blue Angel
Chaka Khan | Hello Happiness
The Return of The Undisputed Truth is a Sonic Blast From The Past
Shanice: The 'S' is for Steamy on No Sleep new single "He Won't"
London Jones | For You
John Legend | A Legendary Christmas
Will Downing | The Promise
Rhythm Tribe Introduces New Style, Acid Latin, With Return Single "You Can't Take Me Down"
Bob James Drops First Trio CD As A Leader in Over a Decade
Gabrielle | Under My Skin
Charlie Wilson and The O'Jays' Polar Extremes of Soul
Ramsey Lewis, Tower of Power, Anthony Hamilton and More Help Playboy Jazz Festival Turn 40.
Piano Wonder Joey Alexander's Third Outing Proves He's On The Path to Mastery
MeShell Pretzels and Dives Beneath The Surface of `80s & `90s Soul Hits
En Vogue | Electric Café

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *