Melanie C – “Version of Me” (2016)

Label: Red Girl Records

Review by Warren Mayocchi

With a personal title, the distinctive vocals of Melanie C, and a solid electronic backing, “Version of Me” has been released for our listening delight. Working on many projects in the four years since her last album has allowed Melanie C the time to build an impressive set of material for her seventh solo studio record. There is music video for the funky “Anymore” which begins in a club and dances happily to the free mood of the first single. The second single, “Dear Life”, also has a music video, but it also is one of the songs on the album with particularly interesting lyrics. Melanie C tends to channel personal experiences into her music and “Dear Life” is a good expression of the big questions we humans ask ourselves. God, fate, and “dear life, what do you hold for me?”. The lyric weaves many questions through the song including the one haunted people express – “am I a fool to think I am in control”. The song states two certain things, one of those being the ultimate truth of life – “we’re not getting out of this alive”. Not stopping with thoughts on the meaning of life, another song, “Escalator”, considers the complicated lives we construct for ourselves, asks “Is it enough?”, and contemplates possible satisfaction in the choice between more ‘stuff’ or a more human connection between us. The title track, “Version of Me”, describes the long term effect of childhood bullying with a voice of experience. The lyrics for all the songs are on Melanie C‘s website and “Version of Me” is worth reading in full. Later, “Loving You Better” takes the role of carer and offers sanctuary for the wounded, “come inside, I’ll take your coat / leave your broken outside, I’ll close the door / I know that it’s hard to do, being you / it’s a lonely road so let me bring you home”. “Version of Me” is a gift. The album is definitely pop music and not all the songs have the lyrical depth alluded to above. Nor are the deeper meanings conspicuous, but they certainly add considerable weight to the songs. It is worth pausing to consider the life experiences required to write a song like “Version of Me”.

Rating – 89/100

Tracklist

  1. Dear Life
  2. Escalator
  3. Anymore
  4. Something For the Fire
  5. Version of Me
  6. Numb
  7. Room For Love
  8. Unravelling
  9. Loving You Better
  10. Our History
  11. Blame

 

Links

facebook.com/MelanieCmusic/

twitter.com/melaniecmusic

melaniec.net/