Alexa Melo

Alexa Melo

Independent release, 2015

http://www.alexamelo.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 03/03/2017

Though she may have only been 20 years old when this self-titled first album was released, Alexa Melo already had nearly a decade under her belt working on music. A self-taught instrumentalist (piano, bass, harmonica, and ukulele), she even landed a major label deal at a young age. Though that arrangement didn't work out, Melo walked away with several albums worth of material.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Inspired by legends like Radiohead, Bjork, and Pink Floyd, Melo's first album doesn't waste anytime showcasing this with the dark, haunting opener, “Still Right Here.” Melo's strong vocals illuminate the song as it moves into louder territory, giving it an anthemic quality. “Bleach” follows with a softer approach and hypnotic guitar line, ultimately shifting into a pop angle that's dance-friendly. This lull into the softer side of Melo extends with “Demoted,” which moves with a Portishead feeling and expressive vocals that run parallel to the greatness of Bjork, which erupts into an ebullient display of emotion and subtle power.

Melo is no stranger to eclecticism either, as exemplified in the middle with the hard rockin' “My Ex,” which would fit alongside any grunge or alt-rock anthem, or the sultry, playful and almost breezy indie-pop of “Dead End.” “She's In Your Shadow” then throws us another curveball as she sinks into dark spirited club rock.

Near the end, “Call This Love” is a ballad (not surprisingly considering the title) where soft pianos are met with sweeping moments of lush beauty. “The Hour Glass Flips” then dives into electro-pop before the quirky horns and ukulele of the jazz influenced “Under Your Skin.”

There's a rawness and emotional depth here not often found in someone this young, and the talent far surpasses someone barely out of their teens. Alexa Melo has more than made up for her years stuck in major label limbo with this stunning album.

Rating: A-

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