So So Gay brings you a review of Melissa James terrific album Day Dawns, and falls in love with her amazing voice.
The competition for newcomers entering the music scene has always been fierce, with only a handful managing to make the grade and bring out hit albums. That is why we were so happy to see Melissa James break through with her great new album Day Dawns, delivering a refreshing and heartfelt sound we hardly see in music today. That being said, the album has some problems, but James has really gone above and beyond, giving us something special.
Vocally, James has an almost perfect voice for this genre. It strikes a delicate balance between a gravelly purr and pure melody, whilst still reaching from an echoing place, deep within the artist’s heart. It almost brings tears to the eyes when she sings and she is backed up so perfectly by the instrumental. It is impossible not to feel that a tremendous amount of work has gone into each and every track, and they are all so polished that they practically shine. A great example of this perfect balance comes from the early track ‘Little Caged Bird’, which is presented as an uptempo number that is shamelessly addictive. It is safe to say that this it will be a favorite track in a lot of people’s playlists this year.
The lyrics also manage to break the mold in more ways than one, with the emotion coated on each one being so deeply evocative that they are impossible to ignore. With songs like ‘I Miss You’ and title track ‘Day Dawns’, we can compare James to a modern-day bard, with music and lyrics that manage to stand up and make the listener take notice. Almost every line is rendered beautifully and also manages to benefit from the same polish that covers the rest of the album.
For all the great things on offer there are a few flaws which stop this album from getting a higher grade. Firstly there is the sad fact that all of the tracks we have here, though all brilliant, are a little bit too much alike for our taste. After a while, the songs begin to sound too similar and loose their impact and identity. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it leaves us with a limited view of the artists range which left us a little disappointed. This is where the high levels of polish do not help as it causes some of the emotion to feel a little too subdued and removes that identity from them. Taken separately, each song glows with potential, but together in one album it begins to sound a little samey. One song which suffers in particular is ‘You Make Me Feel Good’, which tries so hard to be unique, but fails because it just doesnt have the right kind of hook to make it stand out.
We do have high hopes for Melissa James career, and considering that this album took a tremendous three years to create we are very thankful to find this new and amazing vocal talent. Next time though, we would like her to be a little less afraid to take a risk and show off some range, as we are in little doubt that this artist can handle it.
Go Get It: ‘Little Caged Bird’
Forget It: ‘You Make Me Feel Good’