The MF Life

On her hit second album, this Canadian-Guyanese singer shows she's a multidimensional diva. Melanie Fiona belts her way through "Wrong Side of a Love Song," where her supple voice is framed by organ and string flourishes; "Watch Me Work" is hard funk with trashy-riffing guitar; and "Can't Say I Never Loved You" spools a lost-love lament around a gentle ukulele strum. (Even when she's sad, she's innovating.) Big-name guests like Nas ("Running") and John Legend ("L.O.V.E.") accentuate Fiona's strengths instead of overshadowing them, a testament to her supreme confidence.

Listen to "Can't Say I Never Loved You":

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Photos: Random Notes

From The Archives Issue 1155: April 26, 2012