I randomly stumbled upon Melo’s Off My Chest last weekend. I wasn’t looking for him. And if I’m being honest, had he not LOOKED like what I like I probably would have kept on moving. But being the junkie that I am for blue eyed white boys, this cover captured my whole attention without even trying.
I was in Mood’s Music so I knew that the cd had to fall somewhere in the R&B genre. A pretty white boy singing R&B…“I’d like to get this also, please.”
I sat in my living room later that afternoon with no expectations. I had purchased the cd of a man I knew nothing of. So you can imagine my delight when the bass line hit from the first track, What Have We Got To Lose and I found myself squealing, “Oh yeah?!?!?!” A genuine R&B cd, Off My Chest manages to bring in the best elements of soul without being overbearing, oversexed or heavy laden with slick tricks and unnecessary guests spots.
Real Slow demands to be added to EVERYONE’S quiet storm playlist. And What’s New starts with the question each and every one of us asks when we get dumped, “Is it me?” and ends with the attitude we all eventually adopt after a break-up, “It’s not like I care.”
Solid lyrics and a firm grasp of what R&B should truly sound like, Off My Chest could quickly become a permanent fixture on a true soul playlist. Conjuring up memories of D’Angelo and even (gasp!!) early Maxwell, Melo seems to have figured out how to tap into a vein that has sadly been ignored for too long by the soul/R&B community. Rawness, sensuality, pain, laughter (See Caroline) that’s what you get from this Swedish soul singer. By skipping the hype and the unnecessary elements *coughAutotunecough* Melo has managed to produce one of the best cds I’ve heard in a very long time. And I personally hope that the big names in the game sit up and take notice. Because, given enough room, Melo could be the next white boy we all love.
Check him out at http://www.myspace.com/moodymelo