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When the Pussycat Dolls reunited earlier this year (justice for “React”), Melody Thornton was notably absent. Nothing sinister happened, the 35-year-old was just focussed on her solo career. Today (August 7), we get the fruits of her labor. She rolls out a 7-track EP called Lioness Eyes, which is the pop star’s first collection of work since 2012 mixtape P.O.Y.B.L. Since then, Melody has kept us fed with a steady stream of stand-alone singles, but it’s nice to get something more substantial.

And substantial is exactly was Lioness Eyes is. Drawing on the R&B of yesterday (she incorporates elements from the ’60s all the way through to the ’90s), Melody has put together a cohesive listening experience with heart and meaning. “Love Will Return” and “Sing About You” are standouts along with the powerful “Phoenix Rise.” What was the goal? “My focus and ambition for this project was to create more of a musical identity as an artist,” the PCD legend explains. “I also wanted to design and curate — not just write — great songs.” Mission accomplished.

Tracklist:

 01. Pray For Me
02. Goodbye To Happiness
03. Love Will Return
04. Sing About You
05. I Will Wait
06. Lioness Eyes
07. Phoenix Rise

OVERALL RATING
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4 stars