Vibes from Melanie

"I don't consider myself a musician," Melanie said, "except when I'm in the recording studio." She is, however, if` not a true musician, a person very aware of her own abilities and her own limitations. This is probably the reason for the new Melanie; the learning process has brought her to the level of true self-knowledge.
Along with her personal changes Melanie has changed audiences. Although some loyalists have clung to Melanie, the vast numbers of her present followers are members of the Top 40 crowd. She is somewhat reluctant to sing her big single, "Brand New Key" lately, and is rather defensive when asked about it.
"That song isn't a cop-out,'' she said. "It's just comic release. Even a writer is allowed to laugh sometimes." Melanie made it clear that she had no part in choosing "Brand New Key" as her single. The execs make that decision," she said.
Melanie is determined to continue on the learning process in her own way, not letting griping critics get in her way. "I know there are some people who don't like me," she said. "That's all right, I'm not changing for them. I'll still he here singing whether they like it or not."
It's an extremely pleasing paradox to see someone as vehemently innocent as Melanie. Somehow she seems able to capture two opposites like innocence and professionalism and blend them into a perfect union.



"When I first started out in this business, I couldn't afford a guitar. Columbia took me down to the Goya Company and told 'em to give me a guitar because I was gonna be a star someday. Goya made me sign this thing that said if I lasted five years, the guitar was mine. So far I've lasted eight." --Melanie Safka

by Michael Rothkopt

Eight years has been a long time for Melanie. And in that time, she has undergone a learning process, which brought her through the various shades of innocence and to the professional state she is in now.

As a writer, Melanie is definitely at her best. She is in control of what she wants to say and her lyrics and guitar work reflect that feeling. Her words are so concise and her thoughts so clear that one cannot help but listen to them.

Most impressive though, is Melanie's newfound control over her voice. At least twice during her performance at the War Memorial, last week, her voice blared like a chorus of trumpets and then suddenly without warning, changed to a whispering mourn. It was as if the chorus had stopped and one sole, muted, trumpet continued. The effect was remarkable.

Similarly, Melanie has blended other opposites to form her appeal. Melanie's greatest asset is perhaps, that she sings of the life of a woman through the voice of a little girl. In Syracuse the contrast was so striking as to make Melanie's audience feel compelled to sit around her on stage during her encore.
Interestingly enough, Melanie had the standard professional's reaction to Syracuse's War Memorial. "That's the last time I play in a place like that," she said. "From now on, I'm going to have a lot more to say about where I perform. I guess I've left it up to managers and road people for too long. " ***


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