Thursday, 5 February 2009

Melissa Young - Just Up The Road

Melissa Young hails from Greenville, South Carolina and, surprise, surprise – she started her singing career in the Church. ‘Just Up The Road’ is the young lady’s debut set and both those CV items are self-evident from the word go. The opener here, ‘Rock With Me’ is a delicious slab of modern soul. It’s subtle and sophisticated and though in no way frenetic and frantic it’s a perfect dancer – especially fro the growing number of arthritic-afflicted modern soul people (age is wonderful, isn’t it?). You’ll love the little instrumental hook, too. The next three cuts are almost as good – gentle and subtle – but still right for dancing in the appropriate arena. One of the trio - ‘Its About You’ boasts an interesting production – starting like a ballad with hints of ‘If You Don’t Know Me By Now’, it develops into a clipped, medium beater. It’s a good cut – but best of the bunch is a wonderful ‘Funny’. It’s a very gentle tune, given an edge by Melissa’s Church-reared vocal. The melody’s enhanced by some sweet harmonies and in short, it reminds me of why I got mixed up in this crazy soul world in the first place. Elsewhere there’s some sweet ballads in ‘You’ll Never Know’ and ‘Stay’ while ‘Be There’ and ‘Silver Buttons’ lean towards the R&B tip – but nothing really wrong with that. However I keep coming back to ‘Funny’ and that lovely opener, ‘Rock With Me’ – proper music for grown ups.

Bill Buckley

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