You might recognise Melody Thornton as the melismatic vocal vixen in the original Pussycat Doll pop group line up, but after six years of booty popping in Nicole Scherzinger‘s shadow, one must wonder if the girl’s capable of grabbing the wheel and driving her own success.
Melody‘s debut solo mixtape P.O.Y.B.L. (Piss On Your Black List, if you will) gives listeners a proper chance to hear this former Pussycat really roar and mark her territory as a fierce young soul chanteuse.
The concise collection of four original tracks and a handful of covers plays out like a passionate 60s/70s soul record – in short, miles away from the pop assembly-line results she was turning out with the Pussycat Dolls.
It’s raw, it’s angsty and gritty, telling stories of the battles Melody takes on in the music industry and in her relationships.
The new single ‘Lipstick and Guilt’ – a venomous track she wrote over Jay-Z and Kanye‘s ‘No Church In The Wild’ beats – burns with scorn.
“Bruised knees and scars on your sheen blades, baby. Lipstick and guilt written on your face, baby. See everybody knows how you get down, down. Everybody knows how you get around baby… ’cause if you make it out alive, don’t wanna be around to see your demise.”
Elsewhere, there are killer lines on another self-penned original ‘Hit The Ground Runnin” that hint at power struggles in her old pop group.
“I’m still here to remind you that your success is not determined by my demise. And just so you know, ’cause you tried to take for you what was rightfully always mine.”
It is this level of openness and this battle of the underdog story that makes P.O.Y.B.L. the most interesting solo PCD project to date.
Sonically, the mixtape also does a bona fide job in showcasing Melody‘s vocal chops – giving you more range and depth than just the Christina Aguilera-style trills you’ve heard her decorate some PCD tracks with in the past.
The explosive debut single ‘Sweet Vendetta’ serves some vocal fire and brimstone that takes to the funk-driven beats like a naked flame to gasoline. Other times it’s a rare glimpse at Melody‘s more laid back vocal stylings – see: the country blues track ‘Loving You Better’ and the acoustic cover of LaRoux‘s ‘Bulletproof’ with Bobby Newberry.
Positively brimming with passion and armed with nerves of steel, if the P.O.Y.B.L. mixtape is a sign of what’s to come with Melody Thornton‘s music then we might just be looking at one of the most exciting breaking talents of 2012.
Listen to P.O.Y.B.L. in full here:
Melody Thornton‘s single ‘Sweet Vendetta’ is now out on iTunes but you can download the P.O.Y.B.L. mixtape for free.