All right, . . maybe I can do this without getting kicked off the forum.
"retreating into safe soul territory" WHAT'S WRONG WITH SOUL?
I LIKE SOUL!
Soul music is some of the most real
heartfelt music on the planet! And it deserves respect! I never heard anybody being critical of Aretha Franklin for not singing country and western! I never once remember anybody critiquing James Brown because he didn't "broaden his musical range" and sing Broadway songs or hit parade music! If you do a thing, you love it, and you are an exquisite talent at it, what's wrong with that? Melinda has in my humble eight-thousand-artist-listenin opinion, the most soulful voice I've heard in the last twenty-five years! That's something to be proud of! I hear a lot of singers, who make a lot of effort, work hard, and never
manage to sing with soul! So in conclusion, this author's use of the phrase "safe territory" to describe the most powerful, genuine, and eloquent genre in music is a clear indicator of his/her musical ignorance, not any frailty or vulnerability on the part of Melinda's talent.
Next, did this writer listen to a different album than I did? Because I heard soul, gospel, jazz, blues, and ballads on "Coming Back to You." The vast majority of albums, especially these days, seem to contain ten or twelve songs that sound similar to one another, so it seems to me that Melinda's CD actually went above and beyond the call of multi-genre entertainment.
"footnote in the music industry"
Well I'm sorry, Melinda. I guess he's right. I guess you are a footnote in the music industry.
I mean really . . what have you done?
recorded a multi-genre album that received critical acclaim
wrote an amazing book filled with sincerity and wisdom
performed on TV shows
made appearances at countless events, and donated your time and talent, to support any number of causes
treated your fans with love and respect (you just jumped ahead of 85% of performers right there)
treated your detractors
with love and respect, and handled criticism with grace and dignity (you just jumped ahead of everybody
held fast to your character, morals, and values in spite of fame and fortune brought together the most incredible, compassionate, and diverse group of people on the planet in Melinda's Backups
inspired many of Melinda's backups to conquer their fears, chase their dreams, and do things they never imagined possible indirectly saved thousands of lives, by all the work you do on behalf of Malaria No More, and all the work you inspire others to do
That's a "footnote in the music industry" if I ever saw one!
And I haven't even touched on the differences you've made to individuals.
I'm just one person, depending on who you ask and how you look at things, maybe worth something, maybe not worth much of anything. But I can tell you that just for me personally;
You've recorded music that has stirred my soul and made me feel somethin.
Said music so motivated me, that I taught myself to use a computer and go on the Internet to hear more of it.
Said music has been the soundtrack to the best times of my life, and soothed me through the worst times.
Thanks to that music that prompted me to teach myself how to use a computer, the computer then led me to job opportunities, greater confidence, and worlds of information in the form of accessible books.
You brought to me a group of friends so much the treasures of my heart, that I couldn't have imagined them if I'd tried! You brought me a second family! And we never would have heard of one another at all, if it hadn't been for you.
Your work with Malaria No More, and those friends you caused me to have, inspired me to get healthier, gain more confidence, help others, and walk a half marathon!
I am a better person, my life is unrecognizable now, to what it was six years ago, just because of you being the performer, and the person, that you are.
And that's what you've done, just for ME, . . by being a "footnote in the music industry."
So you know what?
I'm not sure what this is worth, but Thank You Melinda!
With all my heart I thank you! Please continue to be exactly what you are. A shallow snobby critic may call you a footnote in the music industry, but I call you a star!