Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Melissa Bel Proves She's Going The Distance

I think everyone has dreams when they are really young. One day you want to be a cowboy, one day a firefighter, the next day a doctor, but Melissa Bell was a little different. At the young age of six, she decided that she wanted to be a singer. If anyone doubted her back then, she is quickly proving them wrong. She just released her brand new album entitled Distance and this Canadian dynamo is creating quite a buzz.

The album opens with the title track “Distance”, which is a remixed and remastered version from her Brave album. There was not a huge promotional push for that album in Canada, but Melissa and her producer Tom Treumuth both believed it deserved another shot. Melissa also believed she could do a better job vocally, being a few years older and more experienced, so she re-cut her vocals. The efforts have paid off as the song sounds fresh and new. Melissa’s new vocals add a richer, more emotional layer to the song. Guitarist Sean Ashby adds some wicked fretwork and a very unique sound to the song with his playing.

“Joyride” is a funky little number complete with an added horn section. Melissa’s sassy side comes out in this number of a love gone wrong. I think we can all relate to this song of being taken on a joyride by someone we were in a relationship with. The diagnosis by the doctor on “Lovesick” is one that he cannot offer a prescription for and she’s ok with that because she’s willing to endure this feeling.

Melissa does an amazing cover of the Bill Wither’s classic “Ain’t No Sunshine” on which she even shows off some of her guitar skills. She wraps herself around this song and delivers a powerful and convincing vocal performance. The album closes with “He’ll Never Be You” and is another song that I am sure that many will relate to. You know how it is, you are in a relationship with someone new, but they just don’t compare to that one person that you’re not quite over.

This EP shows a lot of growth by Melissa on many levels. She had more input on this release and more creative control. She had no experience going into recording her last album, so she relied on her producer and her musicians. This time, she had the confidence to run the entire recording sessions. That new found confidence shines in the end result as this EP is pretty awesome. It’s funky, bluesy, and emotional and it rocks. Melissa’s vocals are so powerful and passionate they pack an emotional punch that is well beyond her years.

Distance is leading up to a full album release in March of 2012. She has already won many awards in her homeland of Canada, including Artist of the Year in 2008 and Best Pop Album. Canada’s rising star is poised to share her gift with the US and the rest of the world. Check out her new EP and hear for yourself as the buzz she is creating will soon become a roar.

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