"Anything" is the title track from Melissa And More’s EP.

Originally from Southampton, the act’s singer/songwriter, Melissa Sullivan’smusic covers a huge variety of genres including Rock, Folk, Pop, Jazz and Country. Melissa plays the piano and has been playing the flute for seven years and reached Grade 8 standard with distinction when she was just 14-years-old.

After fronting and writing for a number of bands, in 2004 Melissa started performing alongside Dave Wilkes, with her performing vocals, flute and keyboards and Dave taking on both electric and acoustic guitars. In 2011 the band matured into a five-piece act and currently have three self-released EPs along with a live recorded album, and a new album on its way in the next few months!

The track certainly lives up to the repertoire Melissa And More seem to have formed for themselves; making use of every genre they know. Although this makes them rather unique, it also makes them hard to place or imagine a firm fanbase for. The rapid tempo and bright vocals are colourful but a little emotionally-lacking. It almost appears as if the band aspires to come across as alternative, which they carry out very well, but have pushed composing poignant or passionate music to one side. However, Anything is very well produced and really highlights Melissa Sullivan’s great vocal range and individual style, which actually conceals the instrumentation to come across as simply background noise and a swift enough tempo to keep up with her rapid vocals. But it is obvious that there is a lot of thought behind how the vocals come across. The track is very flamboyant and expressive but is certainly not something a listener can really relate to on a personal level. With a truly distinctive vocal performance that drowns out the other instruments somewhat, Anything is a great example of how intriguing unusual vocal styles can be but also how much they can hinder the other elements of a track. Although Melissa And More claim to blend just about very genre under the sun, in actual fact the track is difficult to place in any style.

We have One Man Woman being reviewed here on the Nobody Cares Show. It starts at about 9 minutes in

Melissa and More are a 5 piece band from Southampton. Consisting of Melissa, covering the vocals and being the focus of the band (it IS named after her), Dave Wilkes (guitar), Dave Amey (percussion), Ric Westwood (sax, clarinet) and Ken Bryant (bass). The band make music focusing on slow-classic rock, but also span into 80’s synthesiser ballads, jazz, folk and pop music. In this band it seems to me like the music comes in second to showcasing Melissa’s vocal quality and that it is merely a backing for her singing.

 

On their most popular single, ‘Screwed’, the music is a simple strumming of chords to the beat and the vocals add the overall substance to the song. Focusing on how modern living isn’t working for her and how everybody is ‘screwed’, Melissa paints a picture of a mundane life that makes me feel depressed just by listening to the song. The message she conveys is of how we are all living a robotic life and it’s not good for us. Other than telling us that we are all screwed by it, I can’t help but hope that she would have given us a solution rather than saying that we are all doomed.

 

Some of their songs, such as ‘Doing Fine’ and ‘Drunken Song’, are quite catchy when the band steps up to the plate and I quite enjoy listening to it. The vocal dominance and backing music in most of their songs may appeal to others. But, as I’m seeing them as a band I can’t help but think that the band should do more than add backing music to the majority of the songs.

 

Rate: 7/10

 

Andrew O’Donnell

 

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"Every Sunday after 9pm, the Original Showcase has Fanpower, in which listeners, or fans of an artist, can request more plays of their favourite acts.

If success was based on the amount of requests we receive, then Southampton based Melissa would be top of the charts. She consistently gets requests from all ages, genders and nationalities. And it is no surprise. Her voice is excellent; her songs are about life and love, and the music is a mixture of laid-back jazz, pop, rock and country.

She plays keyboard and flute, Dave accompanies her on guitar. The requests arrive by text, email and telephone and its during the calls you can hear that Melissa's songs have tickled an emotional response with her fans.

" I write about what ever springs into my mind, or is triggered by events around me, even conversations on the bus"

There is nothing new in Melissa's approach to writing, but she definatley has something which links her music to the minds and hearts of the listener. Thanks to the internet this effect is being felt abroard with an appreciative following on the American country circuit and she is hoping to head out to the States; but the album comes first and that should be with us by the end of the year. You can hear a track in this Sundays showcase on Original 106fm radio between 6 and 10pm. Or visit www.original106.com/showcase to download a sample. --Xan Phillips, Southern evening Echo, Friday 24th August 2007"

Sadly Original 106 is no longer with us, but it was a very nice review.

Nothing Changes by Melissa is one of those songs that you can play over and over again and never get tired of. It's almost like floating on clouds, or drifting along with the gentle currents of the sea. Set to a light Bossa Nova beat, it just sails along with the wind.very soothingly arranged, perfectly accented with Muse-like keyboard and beautifully sung by this multifaceted and wonderfully talented lass from Southampton, Hampshire, UK, and like her rather extensive songlist reveals, her music covers a wide range, offering a potpourri of sounds and tracks ranging from Pop and Rock to laid back or serious Jazz and Country... Thanks for a very beautiful song, Melissa... It made for a very nice afternoon... Magic Potion — Magic potion reviewing "Nothing Changes" from the 'Did He Say' ep

Simply unqiue.. a mellow yet edgy sound.. joining a variety of genres and sounds together, for the untimate sound of individuality.. an inspirational piece of music. Fresh and radiant and somehow possessing the power to make you want to hold your breath just so as not to damage the excellence of it. At times this track could be described as musical heaven.. with a breathtaking quality to it. True originality is shown throughout the track. Phenominally elegant... a touching sound, able to make your smile radiate from the inside out.. its so nice to find such a fresh piece of music. well done!

 Reviewing ' What Have I Done' on Slice The Pie

''This is one of those records that calls out for the word 'accomplished' and I'm not about to deny the request.'' Written By: Steve — The Mag (reviewing the Say Hello Ep) Click the link below for the full review

''Melissa’s voice dances with the sweetness and maturity of Carole King or Joni Mitchell as she proves that power doesn’t automatically equal volume. There is no denying that this is effortlessly classy stuff. This is grown-up music that’s not afraid to daydream.'' by overplay Reviewing 'Say Hello' EP

"There are no need for labels when a voice is as good as this. Such a blessing to hear well crafted songs with such melodic backbones. Sit back and relax. UK talent at its best." — global grooving.com reviewing 'Did He Say'

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