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MF Life
     

The MF Life

by Melanie Fiona
 

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When the forlorn ballad "4 AM" started to gain airplay, in September 2011, it sounded like an answer record to any one of several songs in rotation. Here was the flip side to the boys' unapologetic pillage-and-plunder tales: the voice of a vulnerable, livid woman backed by pinging/pulsing percussion, including a brilliantly anachronistic drum'n'bass tease, with swells

Overview

When the forlorn ballad "4 AM" started to gain airplay, in September 2011, it sounded like an answer record to any one of several songs in rotation. Here was the flip side to the boys' unapologetic pillage-and-plunder tales: the voice of a vulnerable, livid woman backed by pinging/pulsing percussion, including a brilliantly anachronistic drum'n'bass tease, with swells of synthesizers, strings, and electric guitar. The insidious effect of "4 AM" translated to a slow, steady rise; by the time The MF Life was released, in March 2012, it had finally slipped into the Top Ten of Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop chart. The song served a second purpose, as it was wholly contemporary -- quite possibly a move to airlift Melanie Fiona from the retro box. Mostly unnecessary vocal appearances from J. Cole, Nas, B.o.B, John Legend, and T-Pain suggest a marked effort to make Fiona appeal to a larger crowd, but otherwise, The MF Life has the singer refining the throwback approach of The Bridge with a couple diversions into soul-influenced adult contemporary rock. In addition to "4 AM," there's a six-track stretch, from the elegantly plain-spoken "I Been That Girl" (co-written by onetime bandmate Drake) through the vamping "Bones" (as in "Get all molecular and pass myself through you"), where each song either matches or surpasses the best of The Bridge. While Fiona clearly thrives most in settings that pull from late-'60s and early-'70s soul, she's remarkably versatile when it comes to modes of expression. Somewhere between Jazmine Sullivan and Kelis, her not-quite-husky, not-quite-scratchy voice is easily adaptable to a range of material that zeroes in on desperate longing, resentful rejection, and many points between. The more beneficial mix of songwriting and production collaborators, including Jack Splash, No ID, Rico Love, and Salaam Remi, helps make The MF Life superior to the debut in every way.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/20/2012
Label:
Republic
UPC:
0602527811796
catalogNumber:
001602102
Rank:
69465

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Melanie Fiona   Primary Artist
Vincent Henry   Guitar,Saxophone
Andrea Martin   Background Vocals
Salaam Remi   Bass,Guitar,Drums,Keyboards
Tony Reyes   Bass,Guitar
Kevin Randolph   Keyboards
Johnta Austin   Background Vocals
Jack Splash   Musician
Rico Love   Background Vocals
Espionage   Musician
Steve Wyreman   Bass,Guitar
DaMystro   Conductor
Jordan Suecof   Percussion
Earl Hood   Keyboards
Eric Goudy   Keyboards
Antario Holmes   Keyboards
No Id   Vocals
Skye Griffin   Background Vocals
Jay Fenix   Musician

Technical Credits

E   Producer
Andrea Martin   Producer,Vocal Producer
Salaam Remi   Arranger,Producer
Sandy Brummels   Art Direction
Espen Lind   Engineer
Victor Mancusi   Engineer
Pierre Medor   Engineer
Javier Valverde   Vocal Engineer
George Gumbs   Vocal Engineer
Jack Splash   Producer,Engineer
T-Pain   Composer,Producer
Rob Kinelski   Engineer
Rico Love   Composer,Producer
Espionage   Producer
Gleyder "Gee" Disla   Engineer
Scott Naughton   Engineer
Chuck Harmony   Additional Music,Additional Production
Steve Wyreman   Composer
Melanie Fiona   Art Direction
DaMystro   Producer
Francis Murray   Engineer
Noah Shebib   Vocal Producer
Jordan Suecof   Programming,Producer
T-Minus   Producer
K. Randolph   Composer
Ian Mercel   Engineer
Earl Hood   Programming
Eric Goudy   Programming
Diego Avendaño   Engineer
Bobby Brass   Engineer
Antario Holmes   Producer
No Id   Producer
Lynn Scott   Marketing
Steve Rifkind   Producer
Myisha Brooks   Publicity
Michael Michel   Producer
Melantha Hodge   Marketing
Jay Fenix   Producer
Diallobe Johnson   Marketing
Carmen Murray   Producer,Art Direction
Tiffany Naval   Art Direction
Tiara Hargrave   Publicity
Fahim Najm   Composer

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