Billboard (US) 4th January 1969
Born To Be:- The voice is that of a young girl, but the way she conveys musical thoughts is that of one wise beyond her years.
Her non-conformist approach to the selections on this LP (most of them original) make her a new talent to be reckoned with.
Heavy underground exposure of "Close To It All", "Bo Bo's Party" and others should result in top sales.
TV BBC2 (UK) Late Night Line Up - Transmitted 17th January 1969
The cover notes on an LP by the American singer and song-writer, Melanie make great play of the fact that she was born under Aquarius, the sign of many great inventors and writers.
Aquarius, it seems is the sign of the stars. It is also the sign of about 800 million others, who didn't make it.
Melanie, however, shows every prospect of improving the ratio.
She's a 21 year old aquarian whose voice seems to come from Bob Dylan out of Ertha Kitt, which is an interesting, if improbable pedigree.
She writes her own songs and this is one of them .. Momma Momma ..
Evening Standard (London UK) 25th February 1969
BORN TO BE . . . MELANIE ( Buddah). Another of those super-intense trilly voiced girls who sings as though she's crusading to put the world to right. I think she's got a pretty crummy voice and little obvious song-writing talent is shown on this record Typical Sunday afternoon listening particularly her rape of Dylan's Mr. Tambourine Man.
Hi Fi Mag' March 1969 (US)
I have been sitting at my typewriter to these many hours trying to think of superlatives with which to describe Melanie's "Born To Be" without sounding like I have completely lost my mind over it (even though I guess I have).
This is only the first album from someone who wasn't even old enough to vote last November and here I keep wanting to compare her dramatic range to Edith Piaf's and say she writes like Brecht and Weill.
Well, dammit, she does. As a songwriter she is superb, tackling with ease topics as diverse as prostitution (Bo Bo's Party), promiscuity (I Really Loved Harold), commitment (Close To It All and Animal Crackers). She composes forceful, personal lyrics and houses them perfectly in simple, often humable melodies.
But it is as a performer that she really triumphs. It will surprise no one who hears the album to find that the liner notes credit, as in plays and movies, both a producer (Peter Schekeryk) and a Director (Artie Ripp), because Melanie is more of an actress than a singer. She is in turn sorrowful, jaded, gaily ironic, and childishly appealing as she renders ten vignettes.
In some ways she echoes Lotte Lenya, most strongly where her music resembles Weill's (I'm Back In Town might be straight out of 'The Threepenny Opera' were it not that her wit has some funny little twists of its own).
Not a little credit for the album's success goes to jazz pianist Roger Kellaway who provided perfect charts throughout. I don't often say it, but run, don't walk, and buy this record.
I wish I could shake the hand of everyone even remotely connected