on 5 September 2011
Never was a die-hard fan of Miss Chisholm. I have only her first "Northern Star" album with eberybody's favorites "I Turn to You", "Never Be the Same Again" and the title track itself. But that album was released back in 2001. It's been 10 years now. I know that after that she has recordered 3 or 4 albums. Not very successful ones, I have to admit.
And here is "The Sea", Ladies & Gentlemen. Melanie said 'no more' to boring melodies and semi-acoustic sound which made every track look the same, no more albums full of annoying ballads. 'The Sea' is full of different genres (pop, rock, dance, country), upbeat tracks (Rock Me, Think About It, Stupid Game) beatiful midtempo numbers with personal and sentimental lyrics (Weak,Burn) and amazing ballads (Get Out of Here, Ony by One). Also the album contains one HUGE track. The song entitled "Enemy" is 8:11 minutes long and was chosen to close the album. Great choise. Enemy is an epic song with rock beats, orchestra and very powerful edge. It's a shame UK version doesn't include AMAZING track "Let there Be Love". Also terrific song "Stop This Train" and "Cruel Intentions" are missing here. But even without them "The Sea" is a solid pop album, full of potential hits.
Give Melanie another chance, people. She truly deserves this. I write reviews very rare. But here I just felt like I must share my feeling, because it is one (if the the only one) of best pop albums of 2011. THANK U, MELANIE!!! GREAT WORK!
on 2 November 2011
There is something distinctly autumnal about and across the new Melanie C record. The eleven tracks that make up Melanie's fifth solo record 'The Sea' are a departure from her previous two records with a strong studio productional focus. This pays off dividends.
The artwork that accompanies Chisholm's record depicts a powerful scene of the sea itself with the former Spice Girl and West End star holding a formiddle pose. It is a strong image which reflects the grit and power which listeners will hear in Melanie's vocal across the collection.
Melanie's music sits somewhere between pop and rock. Wherever this place is, it's a very beautiful, intricate and eventful place indeed. This record contains an eclectic mix of acoustic, rock, electro and pop numbers. Listening to 'The Sea' is pure escapism into beautiful string arrangements, dramatic production (courtesy of Andy Chatterley) and glorious therapeutic lyrics talking the listener through relationships with lovers, friends, colleagues and yourself. You have definitely had the mother of all 'let-outs' come the time to hit replay. Save yourself a counselor and pickup your copy today.
Stand out tracks; ballad 'Weak', poptastic ' Burn', electronic ' Stupid Game' and Bond-esque ' Get Out Of Here'.
You'll like this if you like: Alanis Morrisette, Evanescence, Savage Garden, Will Young, Depeche Mode, KT Tunstall, Adele.
Opening track 'The Sea' sees Melanie's deeper vocals overlapped with a number of layers of beautifully arranged backing vocals from the lady herself. The vocals vary from hollowed whispers to the top of Melanie's register. At times these vocals sound almost instrumental, reminiscent of tracks from Melanie's debut, 'Northern Star'. We can hear Melanie's voice submerged, delicately singing about being controlled by the draw to a lover. By the end of the track the vocal is left exposed, only punctuated by the sound of the sea itself. It's worth mentioning here that the sound of the sea washing ashore is a recording that Melanie recorded on her iPhone whilst shooting the artwork for the record.
Onto second track, 'Weak' where Melanie delivers a sense of vulnerability as she sings about loosing yourself to a relationship, but desperately hoping for the return of better days. This is certainly one of the strongest tracks lyrically on the record and a likely single contender. A delicate but rich vocal makes the track something of a revelation.
First single 'Think About It' is an anthemic let loose track. Whilst it is certainly a high calibre pop track, uber radio friendly and generally first rate pop, it does stand lost within this collection. If you are a fan of Melanie's work you will love this track if you enjoyed her singles 'Yeh Yeh Yeh', and 'Next Best Superstar'.
'Beautiful Mind' borders on an Evanescence-esque production during the verses but develops into a classic pop chorus and the outro is rather addictive requesting 'Let's sing together'. Bizarrely you are feeling very upbeat about a character who is left for dry. Perhaps this is driven by the upbeat nature of he previous track which does linger in your head.
'One By One' is beautifully simple and sits in a great place on the record to offer a breather. Co-written with former Starsailor front man James Walsh, this track boasts simple lyrics with remarkable resonance. Melanie's distinctive vocal tone is at the forefront of the action on this acoustic number.
Perhaps following the previous track Melanie has got the 'woah-oah''s down so beautifully she felt she must simply carry it on. Not that we're complaining. In the vain of Depeche Mode an electronic little number comes along in the form of 'Stupid Game'. Now, like Melanie, 'I've only got the truth', and this number is a stand out track. This is certainly a case of Melanie taking on a genre and making it her own. This track could lend itself to being stripped acoustic or guitar fuelled for a rock out. However, it works wonderfully in this disco format.
Loosening her lyrical reigns, Melanie allows the talented Guy Chambers take up the mantle with 'All About You'. And why not? Guy was behind Melanie's biggest international hit 'First Day Of My Life' (2005) which was life-affirming, piano led and utilised Melanie's assuring vocal. On this number, produced by Melanie's long time writing collaborator Peter Vetesse, we hear a tougher vocal whilst still set against a familiar beautiful piano arrangement. Melanie retorts 'hah' to a former lover during the chorus. The parting line does not sound dissimilar to hit single 'I Turn To You' and poses the question of whether this track too will be worthy of a single release. The critics seem to like it, and they may be onto something with this one.
Speaking of singles, 'Burn', whilst being unlikely to be selected for a fire safety sponsorship, it is the most likely track to spurn a Top 10 single in the UK. Light your dynamite and blow them away with this number, Melanie. I challenge you. This is pop of the highest order.
Every track of 'The Sea' 'chews me up and spits me out' (lyric courtesy of Melanie's 2005 single 'Better Alone') and 'Drown' is no different. In honesty, there is something awkward about the production of the vocal on this track which is resolved after a few listens. Only then can you focus on the power of Melanie's voice on this number. 'There must of been a crack in the ice' whilst beautiful imagery should not be misconstrued and used for any 'Injury Lawyers For You' claims for failed relationships.
'I'm fading out like a melody' is the opening lyric from penultimate track 'Get Out Of Here' which Melanie certainly shows no sign of doing with this number. There is a sense of familiarity with this number if you are familiar with Muse's cover of 'Feeling Good'. Melanie harnesses this and creates her own Bond-esque number. She sings with real conviction and I think it reflects a real sense of maturity in Melanie's lyrics and evolution. This track provides prime evidence of Melanie stepping up her game on all fronts.
Closing track 'Enemy' is an 8 minute long epic. This track is co-written with long term band member Greg Hatwell. Melanie wants to know what side you would come down on when times get tough. Well, she hasn't asked for answers on a postcard, but you get the point. Melanie's band (some of whom have been with her for 14 years) play throughout this album, and this track does seem to be a nod to their contribution. The track provides the perfect opportunity to showcase their wonderful talents and it provided an apt dramatic finish to a solid record. Dramatic but delightful.
There are a number of familiar writing collaborations on the above tracks but it seems Melanie's four year hiatus since her last record has given her a renewed energy to create something different. There are some welcome additions to the team both in writing and productional credits. With a voice like Melanie's it is no wonder she attracts collaborators of the highest order. It's a true testament to her work ethic that her band are so integral to the record and that they are familiar figures to her fans.
Melanie's vocal seems to have developed a new wealth of control across her range which she puts down to her tenure in London's West End. 'The Sea' is a cohesive collection and a welcome addition to Melanie's catalogue.
on 5 September 2011
When I heard the previews of the tracks on her website I knew this album was going to be something special. After listening to it non stop since recieving it I really love it.
There's lots of styles on here from the 80s sounding 'Stupid Game' to the atmospheric 'Enemy'. There's something for everyone here.
I love all the songs but I will list the hightlights for me, and I do definately think you should buy this and support a hugely talented artist which is very underated in the UK.
Hightlights include the new single 'Think about it', also 'Weak', One By One','The Sea','Burn','Drown',Stupid Game' and 'Enemy'.
So if you are a fan I urge you to get this, and if you've heard the single and think she's not bad then still get it because you will be blown away. I'm chuffed with this and will be stuck in my stereo for weeks no doubt. Well done Mel a cracking album once again.
on 5 September 2011
As a long term fan of Melanie Chisholm I have been waiting the release of a new album patiently for over 4 years. I was disappointed with the last release "This Time" - it just didn't float my boat at all.
However, this album has surpassed all of my expectations! I truely believe she has created her masterpiece.
From the sounds of the crashing waves and slowly building drums of the title track - I knew intuitively something big was on it's way. I wasn't prepared for what would follow.
The Sea is the perfect opening track and sets the tone nicely, perhaps the poppiest track it has a lovely sing-a-long chorus and definitely harks back to the days of "Spice" more than any other track. Thanks in part to co-writer and old collaborator Biff Stannard.
Weak has a driving beat and a latino chorus to die for - but it's the bridge that really sends this song into orbit.
Think About It - the perfect summer pop anthem for 2011. Why is this song not at Number One??
Beautiful Mind - this would have sat well on "Beautiful Intentions" it's going to be a live favourite I can tell!
One by One - ok - it might be a little on the cheesy side, but my GOD this song is beautiful. It's one for the lovers out there. It brought me to tears with it's beauty and simplicity.
Stupid Game - Another dancey track with a nice hard rocky edge to it. Punch the air!!
All About You - written with Guy Chambers it has a great chorus! Again I think this will translate wonderfully into her live show.
Burn - Sounds like the song the X Factor winner releases for christmas. Very popular with a lot of people already and most likely the next single! Though probably my least favourite track on the album.
DROWN - OH MY GOD. This is my favourite track. Its bloody amazing. Sends shivers up and down my spine!
Get Out Of Here - sassy and sexy. Sounds like a Bond theme , with more than a touch of Perry Mason thrown in for good measure. Vocally this is Mel at her very best!
Enemy - 8 minutes of pure bliss. The perfect way to close the album. Raw, emotional and EPIC,
This album gets better everytime I hear it - and the artwork/ booklet that accompanies the CD is simply stunning.
It's 10 out of 10 from me and her army of fans worldwide are falling for it in droves.
Melanie has released this album on her own label and it is self funded so please support the artist and buy the album. Thanks!
on 4 October 2011
Melanie C has been around for 12 years as a solo artist and since then, is credited as one of the best voices from the UK. After 4 solo records - all amazing by the way, Melanie released her long waited fifth studio album The Sea. It's pure HIGH QUALITY mature ecletic pop sound. You'll find a bit of dance, acoustic, rock and beautiful ballads. The songs are melodic, powerful and Melanie C's vocals are STUNNING. Her best album to date! She's found herself again. if i had more stars to give, i would. Absolutely IN LOVE with Mel and her album.
on 20 October 2011
For Mel C, this is a good catchy album but I do reckon she has done better. Compared to the normal mainstream output though, this is a great album, catchy, quirky and fun. There has always been a bit of tongue in cheek from Mel C and it is on show here. She has fun when she sings! By far the most talented of the Spice Girls and a top quality vocalist in anyone's book.
on 26 May 2015
I have to admit after buying Melanie C's !st album, I did not buy the following three as they were released. Instead, the next album i got , and I'm not sure what prompted me, was this album- on Melanie's own record label- The Sea- AND IT'S ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT! IF YOU ONLY EVER PURCHASE ONE ALBUM BUY MELANIE, BUY THIS! I think it is her best solo album, to date- I was blown away on the first play- a very strong album, no weak fillers, there are maybe two or three tracks i like a little less- but I can't emphasize how good this is! The final song 'Enemy' is my favourite, and whilst approximately 8 minutes long- it doesn't drag on at all- it is apowerful and incredibly moving track- being the album to an amazing finish- Great work! I really hope Melanie does produce another album - as good as this- if that's possible!
on 6 January 2012
Got this for Christmas, and am very very happy with it. The songs are excellent, the lyrics work, and the music is fabulous.
All in all a very very good album and one I shall be listening to for a long long time
Highly recommended, well done Mel, awesome.
on 9 May 2012
OMG! One word describes this album...BRILLIANT!!! I've never heard an album like this before. It's a rare, sparkling gem. I find myself trying to choose what is the best thing about the album; the music, lyrics or vocals. As I sit here listening to the cd again I am relaxed yet revitalized. That's because this is a massive breath of fresh air. This material restores my faith in music. I guess you can have it all: beautiful music, intelligent lyrics and a gorgeous voice. I can't describe the sound or draw any comparisons because I've never heard anything like it, ever. The experience is completely unique. If you like Melanie, love her, or have never heard of her you MUST own this album! The waves of 'The Sea' will pull you under.
on 22 May 2012
First thanks must go to Ken Bruce for playing the track "weak" as his record of the week. Such a catchy tune had me hooked after two plays but I needed more. I was always of the opinion that the "real" talent and "real" voice of the spice girls was "sporty spice" but there was no evidence until her brilliant Northern Star album.
Steadily the voice of Melanie Chisolm has matured along with her performances and this latest offering is a triumph of songwriting and production. Each time I play the album there is a new favourite track such is the diverse nature of the songs.
Current favourite this week is the track "burn" which is just inspirational in my view so thank you Mel and keep up the good work.