When Melinda Doolittle was voted off American Idol a few seasons ago I vowed that I would never watch the show again and to this day I have been true to my word. A late convert to the show, I watched in awe every week as Melinda beautifully belted out song after song with amazing range and flawless intonation. I just knew Melinda would win, but as we all know, she didn’t. But even though she wasn’t a winner on American Idol, she’s got a winner on her hands with her debut album, Coming Back to You.
In signature Melinda Doolittle style, Coming Back to You boasts songs reminiscent of the musical style that suits her voice best — Motown and classic soul. “Fundamental Things” could easily find itself in a Tina Turner songbook, even while being infused with Doolittle’s deep, resonating voice. And “Declaration of Love” easily reminds one of the days of “Fame” and Donna Summer.
Listening to the album you’re taken on a retro ride through some of the most beloved musical sounds we’ve heard over the past half century — including Motown, 80’s soul, and with a few jazzy moments and gospel touches sprinkled throughout.
Coming Back to You is a mature musical effort for Doolittle that will serve her well as she continues to hone her individual style and come into her own. Hopefully, though, with her second album she will create a sound that is less reminiscent of others, but an unmistakable rendition of who Melinda Doolittle really is.