Which came first, the image or the music? I think Sprite got it right with their 1996 slogan “Image is nothing, thirst is everything. Obey your thirst, Sprite.” However, I rarely reach to carbonated lemon-lime sodas when I’m thirsty. I find water usually does the trick — unless we’re talking about adult beverages. In that case I’m like Switzerland, completely neutral, without a preference of one mix or another.
I can’t help but think that if the Britneys and Jessicas of the late 90s tried to crack into the music industry today, we wouldn’t have experienced “Chicken of the Sea”* or the movie Crossroads. Why? Because there’s no way that with the technology we have today and the accessibility of music, enough people would have come together to hold such mediocre music in such high regard. Image-first music is on its way to becoming a thing of the past. Record companies aren’t wasting their time on manufacturing a superstar with second-rate talent but who happens to look good enough to stick into a reality TV show.
Now, talented artists are getting their due. It doesn’t matter what they look like, it’s the music that counts.
That being said, Melissa Bel is a total babe.
But remember, image doesn’t matter! If it did, Melissa Bel and I would probably be dating and on the road to becoming one of Canada’s “power couples.” She’d have the title of “upcoming blues songstress,” and I’d have the title of... Alright, I don’t know but you know what? Titles don’t matter. Shut up.
Her sophomore album Distance is unassuming. You expect to hear some generic music come out of your speakers, but instead you get a booming powerful voice and some great blues guitar.
There are songs about breakups on this one. I mean come on, there’s always a song about a breakup but how it’s delivered is what makes it work. You’ll find the quintessential breakup tune on ‘Over and Done With.’ It’s got a great horn section and a sweet Motown vibe that you’d expect to come straight out of Detroit.
Melissa even tackles the Bill Withers’ classic ‘Ain’t no Sunshine’, which is no easy feat. I’m known to roll my eyes when people choose this song to cover, but Melissa makes it her own with her emotionally powered voice. If she wanted, she could sing this to me while we share a bubble bath together. Let me point out that in no way is that creepy because I’d use aromatherapy bubble bath. I’m considerate like that.
Melissa Bel’s image doesn’t matter, but her music does. Don’t just go Google her right now, check out her website, click her photos and music because in all honesty, I’d be angry with you if you did — mostly because she’s my girlfriend and I’d get super jealous. Of course she’s not aware of it yet, but I’m sure she’ll get the hint when she receives the ten aromatherapy bath gift baskets, but not in a creepy way.