1973 Please Love Me

Melanie: "Please Love Me"

(Album Reviews)

SOUNDS (UK), December 8, 1973 by Pete Erskine.

This is a selection of tracks from the soundtracks of "All The Right Noises", and "RPM". Melanie's natural disadvantages are offset by superb production and a series of songs that without lifting off the top of your skull, are quite pleasant. Still, come to think of it, Beefheart and Alex Harvey aren't technical virtuosos either, in the normal sense, but then again they do have one or two other things going for then . . . like style, for one.

Melanie's attraction has little to do with her music, instead being an emanation of vulnerability and supposed sweetness in a Julie Andrews kind of way, which appeals, one presumes to the more maternal and protective instincts in her followers. In fact, "Momma Momma" is a nice song, but before it grinds to a halt Melanie, has succeeded in mauling it to a shadow of it's former self with her tortured bleating - a female counterpart of the Bee Gees and Leonard Cohen with a shade more balls. "We Don't Know Where We're Going" is another nice song trampled into oblivion. Nice songs but that old Melanie delivery hasn't exactly mellowed over the years.

One for devotees only, I'm afraid.

Melody Maker (UK), December 8, 1973 by Kit Galer.

Shake off that feeling of pre-Christmas euphoria at once, misery and Disney are just around the corner in the shape of Miss Melanie Safka. She's got troubles enough for every one of you and on this plaintively-titled guide to cute melancholia succeeds in plumbing the very depths of dark despair. At their most cheerful. her songs are soberly reflective, while at the other end of her emotional spectre they're downright tormented. My God, no one should suffer like this poor girl does! Her voice is wailing and breathy, distinctive if nothing else. There are hints of Buffy Saintc Marie in there, -and of Piaf, but the overall sound is most definitely her own. This is not the little-girlie Melanie that sang "Brand New Key" and "Alexander Beetle" like a Transatlantic Minnie Banister, this is Melanie tortured by doubts, crying for assistance in most unnerving fashion. "Please Love Me" is an emotional start, with quavering,, repetition of' the title and doleful violin - an instrumental version also included suggests the songs virtues lie in the lyrics and not the moderate tune. "In The Hour" and "Getting Out" continue, in the same sober vein, but leave one totally unprepared for the heart-rending, "Momma, Momma", with Miss Safka apparently sobbing and sniffing as she sings. Has anybody been so unhappy? "Save The Night" (depressed), "Ears To The Ground (philosophical) ,and "Pebbles In The Sand" (mournful) maintain the mounting gloom. All these songs are Melanie's own, written for the "All The Right Noises" film. "Stop, I Don't Wanna Hear It Anymore" with tooting fife and drums and "God's Only Daughter" might be thought provoking in lighter company, but here they serve as precious light relief from all the soul-searching. Melanie's tunes are not world-beaters, but the lyrics and delivery are quite remarkable. Don't listen to "Please Love Me" if you're feeling at all depressed. If you do you'll be suicidal before the end of the first side.

Record & Radio Mirror', December 15, 1973. by John Beattie.

Always fancied Melanie although I've never believed her true ability has shone through on previous albums. Vocal versatility has always been her ace card and "Please Love Me" is no exception with her lyrics, as always being deep and meaningful. For the record most of the songs are written by Melanie with the exception of "We Don't 't Know Where We're Going" and funnily enough my particular favourite, "Stop, I Don't Wanna Hear It Anymore" where she was helped by Barry De Vorzon and Perry Botkin Jnr.

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