Another Cool, Classy and Articulate Canadian Singer-Songwriter
Although still ploughing through the backlog of review discs this one from March stuck out of the pile. Partly because the bright colours and use of shadow on the cover artwork intrigued the photographer in me, but more likely because Melanie Dekker looks uncannily like an ex-Daughter in Law (whom we still like btw!)
So with no knowledge of what to expect, into the office CD the disc slid and………..opening track Memories of You was a very pleasant surprise indeed. Sort of Folky, definitely Singer-Songwriter fare but with a melodic edgy Pop sensitivity to it too. Confused? Don’t be, it’s the sort of song that we bought in our millions by Alanis Morissette, Sheryl Crow and of course Joni Mitchell.
There’s an effortless grace to songs like Try Me (The Basket Song) and More Human, but when you listen closely Melanie’s storytelling drifts into an area of eloquent melancholia normally associated with writers like Beth Neilsen Chapman or Gretchen Peters and they are just as beautiful too.
While most songs are guitar led, one jarred the first time I heard it, but thankfully Better When We Do with it’s Wurlitzer piano ‘beat’ and Jazzy trumpet has finally grown on me and now it’s become a challenger for ‘Favourite Song’ status.
Melanie Dekker can certainly ‘tell a story in a song’ as the uptempo Ginned Up proves and will appeal to housewives across the globe who occasionally need to be told “you’re my sugar baby, darlin’, sweetie/you’re my sunshine when it rains,” even if they do have a real name.
Two songs here tie for the title of RMHQ Favourite; and both are intrinsically different but both come from the same deeply private parts of the Vancouver Songwriter’s life. Te Amor Mucho, as the title suggests has an almost Country sensibility to it, and Melanie’s love song to a music loving father on his death bed will tug at even the tightest of heart strings. The other, Always Gonna Be is a tale of a Mother passing on her own Mother’s words of wisdom as the third generation is about to make her own way in the world and actually reminded me of a conversation I had with an elder brother the night before I got married……therefore bringing unstoppable tears to my eyes.
Album closer When It’s Over also finds Melanie at the piano; but this time a traditional Rhodes which is more suited to the fog of sadness that the lyrics project making it a perfect way to close this very personal record.
Released March 2nd 2018