Turkish born singer Melbreeze was considered something of a phenomenon with the release of her debut album, “Animazonia.” Now, with her follow-up album, “Amethyst,” the singer continues taking risks by setting classics from the American songbook in the context of electronic music. The result is a sophisticated, often high-energy sound and feel that can sometimes make audiences feel as though they are hearing the works for the first time.
Melbreeze grew up in a household filled with music. Her international upbringing plays a role in the sound and feel of each song. The music she presents here can be described as avant-garde. Melbreeze’s unique twists on the American songbook invites listeners to re-appreciate lyrics as they exist in a new soundscape.
“Amethyst” is available for purchase July 26, 2019.
“Summertime” by Melbreeze
“Summertime” has been part of the American songbook since its appearance in Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess” in the 1930s. Later, another iconic version was created when Gospel legend, Mahalia Jackson recorded the song.
Melbreeze’s version sounds nothing like those aforementioned versions. And that’s okay. The singer works amid a soundscape of electronic music that sounds more like Everything But the Girl, as opposed to black American Gospel classics.
The beat is catchy. Melbreeze’s intonations show that she gets what the song is about and she spins that in a sophisticated way for her audience. There is an international flair to Melbreeze’s work, and that adds to the appeal here. The singer neither competes nor is drowned out by the eclectic-sounding music. Her lyrical choices make the song appropriate for her to sing (in Jackson’s version at least, one of the lines states “…with Daddy and Mammy…”) and keeps the song updated for a new generation of audiences. It is an unexpected choice, but one of the best on the recording.
“The Sound of Silence” by Melbreeze
The singer takes the Simon and Garfunkel classic and layers it with a backup singer, and for the beginning portion, keeps it sparse and guitar-oriented. However, after the first verse, kinetic keyboards take the song up a notch or two in terms of energy. The bass and drums pound a little harder. The vocals are almost haunting. Throughout, the keyboards maintain the ambient feel of the piece and listeners can imagine this version of the song used elsewhere – – movies, television commercials because of its Euro pop feel- – think the soundtrack to the Harrison Ford movie “Frantic” (1988). Melbreeze’s performance style will make people concentrate on the lyrics and how applicable they are to contemporary life.
With a collection of songs from the American songbook that spans genres and decades, Melbreeze has created her own classics by putting an international and electronic music spin on each one.