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Friday, December 26, 2008

Review: Melinda Doolittle - Coming Back To You


Melinda Doolittle - Coming Back To You

2009, Genius Products (TVN)

We last saw Melinda Doolittle in Season six of American Idol, bounced from the show by fans who value youth and gimmicks to talent and an ability to perform. Rather than run right to market to capitalize on her exposure with a collection of pre-packaged hits that wouldn't do her justice as an artist, Doolittle has chosen to take her time and put together a recording that befits her talent. The result, coming on February 3, 2009, is Coming Back To You. Most American Idol alumni have managed to disappoint, leaving behind the sounds they developed on the show for slick, pop-oriented sounds that are more production value than talent. Doolittle has stayed true to herself, delivering 13 songs steeped in classic R&B and Soul.

Opening with Fundamental Things, Melinda Doolittle sends the message that she is invested in old school sounds. Doolittle shines in a market of vocalists who have traded singing for coloratura runs and performance for posing. It's Your Love sounds like something that might have come out back when Ike and Tina were still together. Moving out in front has done wonderful things for Doolittle, and her voice on Coming Back To You appears to have grown in stature and soul since her Idol days. Coming Back To You is a classic R&B ballad, and likely a single, but may not be the strongest song on the CD.

Declaration Of Love, on the other hand, is the highlight of the disc. Doolittle opens up like a flower on this one and belts her way to musical glory. Melinda Doolittle has that rare double of being able to sing a song to life as well as being able to sell it on personality alone. When the two aspects of her personality and talent come together Doolittle lights up a stage like a bonfire, and this song is likely to be a concert favorite for years to come. Wonderful has a great soul groove to it. Doolittle finds the pop heart of this song without selling it out; giving a nuanced and personal performance that will touch listeners.

Dust My Broom has that touch of theatrical wonder that only a seasoned performer can master. Melinda Doolittle has the ability to reach out through the speakers and connect with listeners in a way that some artists struggle to do even in a live environment. Her voice here is at its absolutely best. The music industry just hasn't heard this kind of explosive voice in a while. Aretha and Tina are still around of course, but Melinda Doolittle might be ready to take up their respective crowns. Other highlights include I'll Never Stop Loving You, If I'm Not In Love, Walkin' Blues and We Will Find A Way.

It's been clear from her very first appearance on American Idol that Melinda Doolittle was a special talent. Idol alumni have been a mixed bag in the sales department, and even more suspect in the quality department. Chris Daughtry, Kellie Pickler and Carrie Underwood have all had great success towing the pop line while giving up some of the character and personality that made them stars on the show. Kelly Clarkson has broken out somewhat from that mold only to see her sales plummet. Taylor Hicks built up the biggest persona on the show, but gave up his personality to the production team on his eponymous major label debut. The same goes for Ruben Studdard and Fantasia Barrino, both of whom were disappointing in spite of winning their respective years. Melinda Doolittle has stayed true to what made her a star on Idol, and has created, by far, the best album to come out of an Idol alumni to date (I've yet to hear David Cook's debut, but its hard to imagine him topping Coming Back To You). Melinda Doolittle's sound isn't as commercial as many of those who have come before her, but I'll bet this album outsells all of her predecessors. Coming Back To You is pure gold, a Wildy's World Certified Desert Island Disc. Its a must for Doolittle fans; fans of classic R&B and soul, and anyone looking for good, quality music sung with a lion's heart.

Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Melinda Doolittle at www.myspace.com/melindadoolittle. You can pre-order Coming Back To You at Amazon.com.

8 comments:

Louise7 said...

It promises to be an eclectic mix of blues, classic R&B and jazz. The first single, “It’s Your Love” is available for purchase on iTunes. You can pre-order the entire album at http://www.MelindaDoolittle.com and some of the proceeds will go to Malaria No More.

Keep updated about Melinda's career at http://www.melindasbackups.com which is a web site owned by Melinda Doolittle. Melinda’s Backups™ is a non-profit supportive association inspired by Melinda and authorized by her to operate this web site on behalf of her fans.

I am one of her backups (fans) and can truly say that not only is Melinda hugely talented but she is also exceptionally kind and gracious.

GriotLori said...

Thanks for the shout out!, Wildy! ;-)

Yes, Melinda is a rare find for Idol and Our Girl has stayed true to being "an old school, Motown girl at heart." Classic (Retro) soul will always sell (as newcomers Amy Winehouse and Duffy have shown) because it's music from the heart (and soul) that has no equal in today's disposal pop sound.

You can also buy It's Your Love and pre-order Coming Back To You on her official web site - www.melindadoolittle.com - where sales will also benefit Malaria No More. As you know her official site is Melinda-central now: you can get the latest updates, DoolittleTV vids, fan store, blogs, chat with other Melinda-fans in the forum and much more!

Thanks for helping Melinda's Street Team and Backups spread the Melinda-luv! ;-)

Louise7 said...

Melinda Doolittle's Debut Album Coming Back to You Drops 2/3/2009. It promises to be an eclectic mix of blues, classic R&B and jazz. The first single, “It’s Your Love” is available for purchase on iTunes.
You can pre-order the entire album at http://www.MelindaDoolittle.com and some of the proceeds will go to Malaria No More. Also check out the great videos Melinda has posted for her fans at http://mdoolittlesblog. blogspot.com/.

Keep updated about Melinda's career at http://www.melindasbackups.com which is a web site owned by Melinda Doolittle. Melinda’s Backups™ is a non-profit supportive association inspired by Melinda and authorized by her to operate this web site on behalf of her fans.

I am one of her backups (fans) and can truly say that not only is Melinda hugely talented but she is also exceptionally kind and gracious

Louise7 said...

FREE SONG FROM AMERICAN IDOL'S MELINDA DOOLITTLE! GO TO www.melindadoolittle.com and get it NOW - FREE! New album released on February 3, 2009! Don't miss it!

Louise7 said...

Melinda Doolittle's Debut Album Coming Back to You is here! Coming Back to You was released February 3rd and hit #1 on the Amazon bestsellers list for R&B and for Soul. It
is an eclectic mix of blues, classic R&B and jazz. You can buy the entire album at http://www.MelindaDoolittle.com
and some of the proceeds will go to Malaria No More. Also check out the great videos Melinda has posted for her fans at http://mdoolittlesblog.blogspot.com/.

Keep updated about Melinda's career at http://www.melindasbackups.com
which is a web site owned by Melinda Doolittle. Melinda’s Backups™ is a non-profit supportive association inspired by Melinda and authorized by her to operate this web site on behalf of her fans.

I am one of her backups (fans) and can truly say that not only is Melinda hugely talented but she is also exceptionally kind and gracious.

Louise7 said...

Spring Tour: Former American Idol Contestant, Melinda Doolittle.

Melinda Doolittle (Season 6), Chikezie
(Season 7), Gina Glocksen (Season 6) and Phil Stacey (Season 6) will be
entertaining the masses once again as they embark on a Spring Tour which
launches March 15th in Fort Pierce, FL and will make stops in 14 cities across
the U.S.

The "American Stars in Concert: Spring Break" tour dates and cities are at Melinda Doolittle official website www.melindadoolittle.com or fan website www.melindasbackups.com


she may be coming near you. Don't miss the opportunity to hear her sing live!

Louise7 said...

MELINDA DOOLITTLE IN HER FIRST-EVER NIGHTCLUB ENGAGEMENT

NOVEMBER 17 – 21, NEW YORK CITY

FEINSTEIN'S AT LOEWS REGENCY, the nightclub proclaimed "Best of New York" by New York Magazine, will debut MELINDA DOOLITTLE in her first-ever nightclub engagement from November 17 – 21. The “American Idol” finalist will perform an intimate evening of jazz standards, pop hits and Broadway classics, in addition to selections from her CD, Coming Back To You. All shows are at the Regency Hotel (540 Park Avenue at 61st Street). For ticket reservations and club information, please call (212) 339-4095 or visit feinsteinsatloewsregency.com and TicketWeb.com.

elcondado said...

Thanks Louise for the info about Melinda's debut nightclub appearances. She is the most amazing singer ever...and to see her live is magical. I will plan to go for sure. New York City, here I come.