“Sweetest of Melody” is the beguiling single from Virginia Beach, Virginia’s Rina Chanel. An R&B and soft or smooth jazz offering, this track is a must-listen if you’re looking to channel (appropriate I think because of her last name) the heat and the chemistry in your own relationship. As if she were taking the baton from Barry White or Al Greene, Chanel sings exceptionally. Marking the joy, too, of a relationship that is best described as music, “Sweetest of Melody” strengthens Chanel’s case for being one of 2021’s breakout talents.
Virginia Beach – an area known for its picturesque seaside boardwalk also has a rich history of famous musicians that hail from “The Neptune City”. Chanel joins an impressive list that includes Pharrell Williams (N*E*R*D, The Neptunes, etc.) and Timbaland. Where Chanel’s sound in “Sweetest of Melody” falls way more into the jazz/pop category than hip hop, she certainly can draw inspiration from the town’s diversity. “Sweetest of Melody”, too, features a wide, ebb and flow of sounds and movement. The sheen on the opening saxophone is ultra-cool and sets the stage for the glamorous Chanel vocals.
Just before the song’s bridge, a male voice interacts with her singing, adding a vivacious tone to the song. It piqued my interest more – and while I was reveling in the residue and in the wake of Chanel’s vocals, the male voice certainly brings additional drama. Still the lights shine upon Chanel like a beacon in the night. Her voice has a wonderful potpourri mix of resilience, empathy and modesty. She could sing this song in a back corner of a crowded jazz club and stop even the glasses clinking – or she could sing this song on the opening night of the season at a popular bandshell. Her voice carries its weight in gold. So transfixed in her voice that I was lost, just as sings in the lyrics, to the melodies and the cadence of her relationship with this mystery man. I think adding the male vocals and having it be a bit of a duet reminded me of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” (a song strangely enough first appearing in the 1949 movie, “Neptune’s Daughter” – there’s that word Neptune again!) and the playfulness between man and the woman.
I don’t think the relationship is hidden – there’s nothing sinister or scandalous happening here. It’s traditional and not wholesome, but special in its own heartfelt way. The thing about the planet Neptune, is that it’s not visible by the unaided eye. In other words, you have to look through a very technical telescope to get the big picture. I think it’s easy to close your eyes and paint your own pictures and fall into the wondrous vocals of Chanel. Quite simply – she’s stunning. “Sweetest of Melody ” garners a solid rating from this music lover. Maybe it’s the voice, or maybe it’s written in the stars – Rina Chanel is outstanding. If you’re a fan of music – in any style – keep this one close by and ready to spin.