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Review: Melanie Fiona's short, sweet, stylish set at Tampa's Whiskey North



(Soundcheck's sister blog,
Deal Divas, hit up the Melanie Fiona performance Tuesday night at Whiskey North in Tampa. Deal Diva Nicole was there to ask the budding R&B diva for style advice. Here, she offers up a review of Fiona's performance.)

Want to win over a crowd of female fans?

Tell them you’ve had your heart broken a time or two.

Then walk into the crowd and put the microphone up to their mouth and let them to sing along with you.
And of course it doesn’t hurt if you can actually sing.

That was pretty much the scene Tuesday night at Whiskey North, where R&B soul songstress Melanie Fiona performed.

Fiona is one of the latest songbirds to flutter onto the music scene. Refreshingly, the Canadian-born 26-year-old doesn’t fit into the pop-sex-bunny category that is Beyonce, or the blood-on-the-floor theatrics of Lady Gaga. Instead her sound is off to the left in a jazzy, soulful, roots corner of sorts where Keri Hilson and Chrisette Michelle like to hang out.

Fiona’s album The Bridge is all about love, love, heartbreak and love set to some pretty grown-up music. The first single, Give It To Me, uses a sample of '60s group The Zombies' song Time of the Season. Granted, her lyrical content can be a bit woman-scorned cliche, but it’s easily overlooked by a voice that gives you goosebumps.

Fiona’s performance at Whiskey, sponsored by 95.7 The Beat, was disappointingly brief. Fiona gave only a sampling of her album. Two songs, to be exact.

First it was the radio-hit Give It To Me, followed by the heavier It Kills Me. She sang to a recorded track, which on one hand helped her vocals remain front and center, yet on the other hand left you wondering just how much better she would sound behind a live band.

Fiona made up for the brevity of the show with a strong, pure voice and a focus on getting the audience involved. In between lyrics, the petite Guyanese beauty chatted the audience up and worked the room in some killer Fendi heels.

“This is the real me,” she told them in a raspy salt-of-the-earth voice. “I sing about real things that people go through and can relate to.”

-- Nicole Hutcheson, tbt*. Photo (not from Tuesday): Getty Images

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 3:15pm]


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