From Marc Mercurio's archives

One More Try

Single Review

By Marc Mercurio

Singer's latest single

suffers lack of airplay

"One More Try." That is the title of singer-composer Melanie's latest single release on Portrait Records, and apparently what she was going to do .. with her career.

There is a so-called forthcoming album on the CBS affiliate that is "presently unassigned" according to Debbie Rue of Portrait. She said the album is ready, but is being held back due to the lack of airplay response from the single "One More Try."

Unfortunately, Melanie is best remembered for her song "Brand New Key." But among the 19 LPs she has recorded, several of which went gold, and numerous national tours she has presented, she hardly remains in anyone's memory. As a refresher, Melanie penned "Beautiful People," "Look What They Done To My Song Ma," "Lay Down (Candles In the Rain)" and "Peace Will Come." She did a national tour for UNICEF and is the only female singer in the last 20 years to place three singles in the Top 40 at the same time.

The way things appear, no one is behind the new single or the album and it does not matter to anyone what (if anything) happens. Portrait has a neutral stand-offish attitude and Melanie is at her home in Florida. As far as Rue knows, there are no present plans for a tour, and no TV or other such guest appearances have been made. She said everyone is just "waiting."

And what a shame. The single has strong Top 40 potential. Its middle-of-the-road appeal is dressed beautifully with strings and Melanie's vocals are as ever. Replacing the staggering quaver is a full-bodied confident voice.

The single is a hopeful song about not letting a relationship end, thus the title. Hooks are well worked and it sounds like an assured hit that missed the target.

Although it is really not what one would expect from a folk-flower-child, it must be taken into consideration that Melanie is 34. She has matured and so have her abilities. During her almost once-a-year comeback attempts on various record labels during the past five years, Melanie has surprised and pleased many, but attracted too few.

In the past Melanie has stated that her problem is breaking her image as the goody-two-shoes mother earth, who gathers flowers roller-skates and eats animal crackers. She is a victim of herself and the "thing" record companies have made her.

The current single is backed with her composition "Apathy." This song flows more along Melanie's style than "One More Try." It opens with a mesmerizing synthesizer and breaks into a medium-beat rocker. Perhaps it best sums her current attitudes and feelings as she sings: "Can't sleep, can't write; I can't eat and I can't fight; This damn old apathy is killing me."

If we are lucky Melanie will overcome her apathy and Portrait will step out and get behind her. The single stirs anticipation for an album, as it sounds like a lot of talent is wasting away. Rue stated there may be another single released to see what happens, but at this time there are no commitments.

Photo courtesy Tomato Records

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