It’s like the 90s R&B era all over again in Melanie Fiona’s “This Time,” and we’re loving it. For the traditional rhythm and bluesy record expressing how much better she’d be in the relationship if she had a do-over, she teamed up with Roc Nation rapper J. Cole for what feels like the nostalgic time when R&B and hip-hop collaborations saturated the airwaves. Not to compare Fiona to another artist as she’s rightfully owning her lane, but we couldn’t help but notice the Mary J. Blige “What’s the 411?” similarities. The baseball hat and oversized jacket? Totally a great nod to MJB.
“This Time,” from her sophomore album The MF Life, she’d love him much better. Since time is something we can’t get back and all wish we had more of, it makes complete sense that she’d be singing about “this time I’ll do it much better” while in all black posing as the ticking hand on a humungous clock. Throughout the video she plays different types of women, which is perhaps a subtle hint at having to have a bunch of personality traits wrapped in one. And “this time,” which she knows she won’t get, she’d do it much differently. J.Cole appears in the end in true hip-hop/R&B collabo form. He drops his verse, shouts out the singer, they share a laugh and he disappears. We appreciate this for it being straight up R&B unapologetically.