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Melissa O'Neil

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Album Review

When Canadian teen sensation Melissa O'Neil earned the title of Canadian Idol in 2005, much speculation arose about the pop protégée's bright young career. O'Neil, a Western Canadian singer whose masterful voice carried her through the competition, knocked out her competitors week after week by varying her song choice and using impeccable vocals to translate her from casual pop princess to glamorous young diva. Ultimately, this presented a dilemma in O'Neil's marketing department, now responsible for representing an artist stuck between two realms where her chances of success were probably about equally divided; O'Neil's personality and charm could easily impress older audiences through more adult contemporary tracks, while she could also seamlessly translate onto bubblegum radio with translucent tunes and infectious dance hooks. This dilemma was not assuaged in any way by the launch of her first multi-platinum single, "Alive," which toed the line between effervescent teenage hopes and polished maturity in a flighty manner. In the end, the launch of Melissa O'Neil's eponymous debut is quite frankly a refusal to compromise in either direction. This debut release is obviously rooted in many casual common teenage hooks (specifically on numbers like "Just Like January" and the album's light first single, "Let It Go"), and O'Neil certainly dips into cheeky pop on the album's more breezy numbers. Yet at the same time, O'Neil easily jumps into more dramatic swooping ballads, using heavy drums to perfect a darker sound to balance out the airy singles that support the album. The album shows O'Neil in an excellent light, allowing her to appeal to both younger and older audiences by presenting a pack of tunes that would support neither audience in the album's entirety, yet pleases both sets of listeners in various groupings of songs — in today's market buoyed by singles, this is a crafty display of marketing genius (nicely noted in the contrast between the aforementioned first single and the album's haunting second radio sampling, "Speechless"). The paradox between genres that O'Neil presents isn't necessarily successful, in the sense that few people will enjoy the album all the way through, yet any fan of O'Neil's icy tones or her endearing personality will appreciate the first sampling by an artist who has displayed mounds of potential in a myriad of genres, and as a winner of a television talent show with a wide audience, O'Neil doesn't leave even her smallest fan without something to love. [Melissa O'Neil was also released in an Enhanced Edition.]

Customer Reviews

you r the best

you are the best melissa o neil because u have come in my school assembly and i was your brothers friend


All I can say is wow. "Safe Place to Hide" means so much to me and means something else to every person that listens to it. That is PERFECT song, when everybody can find a meaning in a song.

melissa oneil

Très bon album. Great voice. Have the album since 2005. Listened to it 100 times. Never got tired of it. And by the way I'm 49...


Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

Melissa O'Neil is a Canadian pop artist who first gained fame through winning the third season of Canadian Idol. Born Melissa Crystal O'Neil on July 12, 1988, in Calgary, Alberta, O'Neil didn't start singing professionally at a young age like most pop prodigies these days. Her mother, Alison Yeung, is quoted as saying that she only began singing "a few years ago." Her singing career was rather limited until she auditioned for the third season of Canadian Idol in February 2005. She was praised by...
Full bio
Melissa O'Neil, Melissa O'Neil
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Pop, Music
  • Released: Nov 22, 2005

Customer Ratings