Melanie Fiona, "The Bridge"

93 Billboard Rating

Although the release date of her debut album, "The Bridge," was pushed back numerous times, singer Melanie Fiona didn't miss her opportunity for greatness. On the set, Fiona brings the same sultry vocals and self-assured antics atop soulful instrumentation that fans fell in love with on the first single, "Give It to Me Right." Over tambourine clings and hollow drums on "Bang Bang," she taps into her crooked ways, singing, "I don't give a damn 'cause I'm a rebel kind." With the help of flamenco guitar on "Teach Him," Fiona attempts to tenderly school her partner about how to build a healthy relationship, while the standout track "It Kills Me" reveals the singer's vulnerable side, as she cries out over bluesy piano strokes, "I know you're messing around/But who the hell else is gonna hold me down?" Those who aren't believers after listening to this 13-song masterpiece may want to re-evaluate their definition of what talent is. -Mariel Concepcion

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