A lot of artists talk about wanting to carve out their own lane in the industry, but few have exemplified that more these past few months than Melvin Elray with his latest project “5th Lane“. This funky, soulful, downright raw album is easily digestible at just over 20 minutes in length. But don’t let the elegance of its brevity fool you into thinking this album is light, either sonically or in its subject matter.
Produced by Jeff Sanon, who is a ridiculously talented artist in his own right, this album’s sonic backdrop is a perfect fit to accompany Melvin’s falsetto grooves. “5th Lane” is a delightful project, proudly brandishing its electro, funk, R&B and soul roots, and packaged in a way that somehow leaves you satisfied yet wanting more.
This album definitely has me looking for that “Vinyl”, understanding that paper is “Thicker than blood”, thinking about these “Bills” while bearing these “Scars”. It got me telling a girl she pretty as “Seattle” while screaming for her to take that “Filter” off! And before you know it, it’s a “Stickup” and it’s a wrap.
Vinyl: Great intro song to the album foreshadowing all the bounce to come. Melvin tells us why he loves ’em funky and classy, like a vinyl.
Thicker Than Blood/Lost My Job: Smooth, soulful production while Melvin Elray explores the impact of that paper on all our lives. Great track to motivate the grind.
Bills (Mom’s Interlude): This track touched my soul. I dare any human being to listen to this and say otherwise. Mom we gon’ get, past, these, bills!
Seattle: A modern take on a jazzy and funky Stevie Wonder-esque love ballad dedicated to that special someone. Excellent production by Jeff Sanon. He had me chi-town steppin’ to this.
Scars: Another profound subject matter track all about displaying one’s shortcomings to a loved one, but most importantly a damn funky and smooth track.
Filter: Warning: listening to this track might lead to: increased birthrate, child support, pregnancy, twins, triplets, and broken mattresses and/or beds. “Take that mutha***** filter off!”
Stick up (outro): A nice raw way to close out, Melvin is here to take what is his. “Don’t need no ski mask I need you to remember me!”
I’ll try to emulate this album’s brevity by saying that I honestly can’t capture in words how close this album is to me.