Melanie Amaro may not have been "The X Factor" Season 1's most current-sounding contestant (that would have been Marcus Canty), its most charismatic (Astro), coolest (Josh Krajcik, Drew Ryniewicz), or even most sympathetic (Chris Rene, natch). But she definitely had one thing going for her: THAT VOICE. Melanie was arguably the most technically perfect vocalist on the show, which is no doubt why "X Factor" voters awarded her Simon Cowell's $5 million contract over the above-mentioned, somewhat lesser-lung'd finalists.
Which is why it is so utterly mind-boggling to me that when Melanie finally released a new single this week--after disappearing for months while supposedly undergoing some sort of rumored, Epic Records-mandated makeover--the song, "Don't Fail Me Now," is Auto-Tuned to the point where Melanie's mighty voice is rendered nearly unrecognizable. This vocal makeover is disappointing. It seems like some overzealous engineer in L.A. Reid's studio totally didn't listen to the song's title, because this is an Epic fail.
The song itself isn't too bad, and wouldn't sound out of place on some CW Network show--although it's hardly worth $5 million. And it's hardly the slam-dunk single that Melanie needed to remind "X Factor" fans that she exists, since while she's been M.I.A., most of the show's focus has shifted to promoting its new judges, not its old contestants. But this song would have sounded a lot better, I think, if producers had just handed Melanie a microphone and gotten out the heck of her way.
What do you think of "Don't Fail Me Now"? Think it'll be a success? Let me know.