9PM // 21+ w/ Valid ID
Melanie Fiona crossed many bridges to arrive at The MF Life. Conceptual bridges. Spiritual bridges. Actual bridges. Stadium-thumpin' bridges. Hard-lovin' emotional bridges. The MF Life, the Grammy-nominated soulstress’s second album for SRC/Title 9/Universal Motown, evinces the charmed life of an immensely gifted vocalist in forward motion, hurtling up the road, the radio dial, and the charts to a unique place where myriad listeners can soothe their souls and hear the beat of their own hearts.
The maturity Melanie Fiona displays on The MF Life is underscored by her remarkable versatility and cosmopolitan panache. The album showcases a stunning mix of vibrant new sounds from a host of A-list R&B producers and songwriters, each partaking of the originality that has made Fiona a sought-after collaborator by everyone from Cee-Lo Green (“Fool For You”) and John Legend & The Roots (“Wake Up! Everybody”) to reggae superstar Stephen Marley (“No Cigarette Smoking (In My Room)”) and U.K. rapper Tinchy Stryder (“Let It Rain”). “The MF Life is definitely less retro-sounding than my first album,” says Fiona, who credits her parents, Guyanese émigrés to Canada, with giving her a solid foundation in the time-honored classics of Sam Cooke and Stevie Wonder, among other greats. The transformative impulse is one Fiona relishes. “Making the leap from Canada,” she explains, “I was recognized for two things: Being a powerful vocalist and an emotional storyteller. It’s clear to me that with those traits in place, the sky’s the limit. I think if listeners feel that they can believe what you’re singing, they’ll stick with you no matter what you try.”
Clearly, The MF Life points the way forward for a boldly captivating new voice with an auspicious future.