Mélat Record Review

Move Me II: The Present

Mélat Record Review

Unsigned Ethiopian neo-soul princess Mélat vibes out with renowned hip-hop producer Jansport J for the first three tracks of Move Me II like a background singer begging for a remix. Everything's far too silky and smooth, and you can't hear the hook. "Worries (Revelation 8:3)," a throwback to its poppier EP predecessor Move Me, employs her pleading, full-bodied vocals over J Dilla-inspired beats, yet builds to the expectation of belting when the interlude basically remains a coffee run. Then "4am, Call Me I'm Up" opens with, "Bartender make this drink too strong" and faded traps, at which point you fall in love with the homegrown singer. "Coffee So Black" hits full-on with a shot of that yes, daddy yes, liquefied in Hennessy beats and lusty, crooning waves. Now it hurts and feels smooth, the UT grad's glossy vocals sliding through strings, the lows vibrating and everything isn't a sigh. "Not a Lover" slides into Keyshia Cole territory, but she doesn't let Jansport take over, though it sounds like he tries to. "Beautiful Black Boy" drips with distorted keyboards and low murmurs. The true test of R&B is, "Would I get some to this?" With Move Me II – after the first three tracks – that's a resounding yass.

***.5

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