In 2009 Canadian singer Melanie Fiona captivated listeners with her emotive torch song, “It Kills Me.” I remember being one of those girls singing the catchy hook, “And it kills me, to know how much I really love you. So much I wanna ooh ooh ooh, to you ooh ooh.” Not because I was conflicted as to whether or not I should leave or stay, but because the song was just that catchy.
Fast forward two years later and Melanie Fiona is back with her sophomore album, The MF Life. Fiona approaches this album with conviction, like someone who has been through everything she’s lamenting about. It’s an artifact of maturity, growth, and self-love. Love yourself enough to know when it’s time to leave a situation.
When you’re no longer with a person, do you forget them? “Sad that memories never die, just fill your head with why, then you’re caught living a lie again.” Fiona wails about reminiscing about a lost love on “Gone and Never Coming Back.” Sometimes pondering about why something happened could be more devastating that the actual event. Their touch, their smell, or their quirky mannerisms; all of these memories fill her head. Evoking raw emotion, she sings from a place that you can only sing from when it’s personal. It’s more than pain, “It’s like a bullet in my head.”
Playing the fool is one thing, but how did you get there in the first place? How does a person go from being there for you wholeheartedly, to not being there for you at all? Does it feel like you’re “dying in this lonely hell” now that you’re all alone? Why? Why is it that “when things go wrong they’re no longer a love song,” sings Fiona, “especially when you’re still in love?” Sounding like an ode to a 1970’s Motown jam featuring live instrumentation and rare sentiment, “Wrong Side of a Love Song” is intense and is guaranteed to have someone in their emotions.
Every girl has that one story in which she’s played the part of court jester to a man. He turned you into his merry-andrew. What you thought was love was nothing but comical antics masked as love. The tug of war on your heart and the back and forth, “I Been That Girl,” is a lugubrious tune in which she chronicles past events of a previous relationship. Co-written by rapper Drake, “I Been That Girl” is somber but kindred.
While these songs seem dejected, they’re really songs of liberation, maturity, and self-love. They’re about circumcising unhealthy connections from your life and in the end finding a new respect for yourself because you deserve more.
Fiona teamed up with singer John Legend for, “L.O.V.E.”, a triumphant song about love conquering all. “Love is the right solution.” In life a person must rise above certain things, whether it be adversity, low self-esteem, or a damaging relationship. One of the common denominators in conquering the aforementioned demons is love, “Love is the answer we’re all in need of.” Love yourself enough to know you’re better than the predicament you’re subjecting yourself to.
Freedom is a great feeling. Change is imperative. No one can lie dormant forever. “Watch Me Work” is an upbeat song of liberation. When you’ve come to the conclusion that you can go nowhere but up and live your life, watch out! Melanie Fiona puts on her freakum dress and stilettos as she enters her genesis. “Time to break free from these chains” says Fiona, “I’m on a mission.” Strength coupled with purpose is unstoppable.
The MF Life proves that Melanie Fiona is a gobsmacking force to be reckoned with. She bodied every single song and approached them with confidence and assurance.