Meshell Ndegeocello: RFI

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I was tempted to buy her new record last week. Despite her attempts to strive for societal significance (attempts which, superficially, bug the hell out of me almost as much as that Mellencamp collab), it's hard to stay angry when dealing w/ the writer of "If That's Your Boyfriend". Her 1st album didn't impress me much, though.

So what's the deal?

Daver, Tuesday, 11 June 2002 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Josh to thread ASAP!

Daver, Tuesday, 11 June 2002 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

you guys are fucking mentalists.

jess, Tuesday, 11 June 2002 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Jess in myopic Alex-in-NYC-esque palabumum shocker! But, hey, free speech is a beautiful thing, so rock on, little camper.

Daver, Tuesday, 11 June 2002 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

dave's so cute when he's trying to pretend he's not hurt.

jess, Tuesday, 11 June 2002 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

maybe i'm just giving her a raw deal because of johnny cougar.

jess, Tuesday, 11 June 2002 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

palabumum is my new favourite word

mark s, Tuesday, 11 June 2002 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

raise yr standards mark.

jess, Tuesday, 11 June 2002 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

ANYWAY.

Daver, Tuesday, 11 June 2002 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

it's a good album! trust ben williams, he knows what he's talking about.

the parts you will be made uneasy by: the slightly sleepy songwriting at times (I thought there would be more hooks), and the consciousness schtick (there's a reason she was asked to contribute to lilith fair vol. 3 hahaha). let neither of those bother you though. it is a little sleepy, but that just means you should get comfy. and content-wise it sounds something like an underground 'conscious' rap album might if made by a woman. and with funk and soul instead of rap.

the bass sound is really fucking excellent. on some of the songs it was straining my fancy headphones almost the whole time! (even most of my rap isn't low enough to do that unless I turn them way way up). a tribe called quest said something on the love movement about how they wanted the sounds to love you, and this album reminds me of that only it does it lots more, and the beats are better. although the scenario remix is a million times better than the (good) red+missy remix here.

Josh, Tuesday, 11 June 2002 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

I downloaded the single. I absolutely love the production. Bass like this is what keeps the world spinning. I want to buy the album JUST FOR the bass if it's all like this.

Keiko, Tuesday, 11 June 2002 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

what Josh said. it's a terrific album

M Matos, Tuesday, 11 June 2002 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

She's probably the best-all-around bass player of the moment, if you subscribe to the chops+sound+feel=quality equation.

Colin Meeder, Wednesday, 12 June 2002 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

i subscribe to the "chops+minted peas w. butter+honey roast potatoes=delicious" theory

mark s, Wednesday, 12 June 2002 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

colin in not preferring eric axelson shockah!

Josh, Wednesday, 12 June 2002 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

I also prefer Mark's serving suggestion to Victon Wooten.

Colin Meeder, Wednesday, 12 June 2002 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Although I prefer Victon Wooten, the Robotic Chops Machine, to Victor Wooten, the inferior human copy.

Colin Meeder, Wednesday, 12 June 2002 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Eric Axelson in missing bio shockah!

Colin Meeder, Wednesday, 12 June 2002 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

I might be willing to give her a listen if I could get past pronouncing her name. ...and if I knew who she was...

Dave225, Wednesday, 12 June 2002 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

5 years pass...

guys the new record is really good

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Thursday, 8 November 2007 23:53 (6 years ago) Permalink

ive never listened to her but i have a chance to see her for free. should i go

deej, Thursday, 8 November 2007 23:55 (6 years ago) Permalink

if you dig jazzy kinda jammy funky shit, yes. it's like ohio players directed by ornette with betty davis singing lead.

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Friday, 9 November 2007 00:00 (6 years ago) Permalink

you think she sings like betty davis?

deej, Friday, 9 November 2007 00:02 (6 years ago) Permalink

not saying i disagree, ive never really listened to her

deej, Friday, 9 November 2007 00:02 (6 years ago) Permalink

can't wait to hear it despite being less than impressed with the last one.

tricky, Friday, 9 November 2007 00:04 (6 years ago) Permalink

you think she sings like betty davis?

-- deej, Friday, November 9, 2007 12:02 AM

Not in terms of vocal quality, just in terms of rawness.

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Friday, 9 November 2007 00:06 (6 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...

I finally got The World Has Made Me the One Man of My Dreams (the title is kinda pretentious, but I wonder if it's meant to have queer connotations?), and it is pretty great! At first it sounded a bit formless, but now that I've listened to it more I really like the cosmic jamming and all the little intricate details. At the moment my favourite tune is probably "Elliptical". It somehow reminds me of "O Superman", maybe because of the vocal processing and the odd, evocative lyrics.

I really liked the jazz album Ndegeocello put out a few years ago too, but I completely missed Comfort Woman, and now I'm wondering if should get that one too. Does it sound anything similar to these two?

Tuomas, Friday, 16 January 2009 09:14 (5 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I just heard this lately and "Elliptical", "Elliptical", oh holy shit "Elliptical".

The Reverend, Friday, 16 January 2009 09:22 (5 years ago) Permalink

wtf @ hoos comparing her to Betty Davis

The Reverend, Friday, 16 January 2009 09:22 (5 years ago) Permalink

You know, her upper register is gorgeous in it's own way and I never really knew she had it until I heard this album.

The Reverend, Friday, 16 January 2009 09:24 (5 years ago) Permalink

Why does the AMG review claim this album has a bonus track called "Soul Spaceship"? At least my copy hasn't.

Tuomas, Friday, 16 January 2009 13:18 (5 years ago) Permalink

ive never really liked her. the 'arent i saying something important' sanctimony of her delivery has always bugged me. and i was never a huge fan of 90s slap bass. but i love her cover of hendrixs may this be love.

theres nothing betty davis about her singing though.

uk grime faggot (titchyschneiderMk2), Friday, 16 January 2009 13:55 (5 years ago) Permalink

worth seeing live though. saw her when she was doing her jazz album a few years back and then before that for the bitter tour, when she was going through her more serious joe henry ish phase.

uk grime faggot (titchyschneiderMk2), Friday, 16 January 2009 13:56 (5 years ago) Permalink

I have nothing against "aren't I saying something important" attitude if it's well done. I do agree that she does get a bit self-important at times, but I also like how she deals with subjects that few others in her genre do. I can't imagine anyone else doing a song like "Barry Farms", for example.

Anyway, if you don't like her delivery you should check out the jazz album. She doesn't sing on it at all, and only 3 of the 8 tunes have vocals anyway. "Aquarium" (which is sung by Sabina Sciubba) on that album might be the best song she's ever written.

Tuomas, Friday, 16 January 2009 14:21 (5 years ago) Permalink

i think i find her a bit monotone too. but ive not heard her music in years so i might find it different now. agreed that she deserves credit for broaching subjects that not many others do. i need to dig out peace beyond passion.

uk grime faggot (titchyschneiderMk2), Friday, 16 January 2009 14:26 (5 years ago) Permalink

4 months pass...

I finally got Comfort Woman, and it's pretty great, though I think the more varied and experimental stuff on The World Has Made Me... makes it even better. Comfort Woman is much better sexing music though.

2:24 in this tune = one of my favourite moments in a pop song.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 26 May 2009 13:25 (5 years ago) Permalink

This one's like the "O Superman" of the 00s, totally brilliant!

Tuomas, Tuesday, 26 May 2009 13:32 (5 years ago) Permalink

i saw her london show, it was pretty great although utterly, utterly rammed. got chatted up by an incredibly drunk romanian woman who was on her second bottle of wine and kept complaining about the number of "dykes" in the audience. i was like well, you are at a meshell ndegeocello gig you know...

Tracer Hand, Tuesday, 26 May 2009 14:00 (5 years ago) Permalink

Hahaha!

Tuomas, Tuesday, 26 May 2009 14:02 (5 years ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

So, apparently she has a new album called "Devil's Halo" coming out October 6th. I'm pretty excited about this, the more I've listened to The World Has Made Me the Man of My Dreams, the more I feel it's her best album ever (and it's not like she's made too many bad albums). So my expectations are pretty high for this one.

Tuomas, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 22:20 (4 years ago) Permalink

That news release says the new album is "influenced by a wide breadth of sounds - from The Human League to Wu Tang to Yes". Sounds pretty cool, and something she could actually pull off.

Tuomas, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 22:23 (4 years ago) Permalink

any friend of my brother's is a friend of mine:

"another of the Bunnybrains’ famous fans is acclaimed pop singer and bassist Me’Shell Ndegeocello, who as of late has been collaborating with Seward on a soundscape project. “Being around Dan is experiential and insightful,” she says. “The Bunnybrains are a mind-child that opened the door to my courage.”

scott seward, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 22:33 (4 years ago) Permalink

That's nice for your brother! She's so cool!

Tuomas, Thursday, 20 August 2009 19:40 (4 years ago) Permalink

yeah, they live in the same town and hang out. she has played live with his crazy band too.

scott seward, Thursday, 20 August 2009 19:48 (4 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

So, the new album came out this Tuesday, anyone heard it yet? My local music store only gets it next Tuesday, so I have to wait until that. I'm sorta tempted to to download it before that, but then again I like the old-school kind of feeling when you get the actual physical record in your hands, and it's still a mystery before you put it on your record player.

AMG gave it 4,5 stars, apparently it's a more stripped-down and conventional album than The World Has Made Me the Man of My Dreams. I really like the experimentalism on her previous few albums (especially on The World Has Made Me...), so it's interesting to hear how she pulls off this change of direction.

Tuomas, Friday, 9 October 2009 11:08 (4 years ago) Permalink

im totally out of touch with what shes doing these days. though the last thing i heard was a bit laswell-ian in all the base-covering.

titchy (titchyschneiderMk2), Friday, 9 October 2009 11:54 (4 years ago) Permalink

fuck im out of town when shes in chi -- and shes playing literal blocks from my apt

i got nothin (deej), Friday, 9 October 2009 11:57 (4 years ago) Permalink

New album is really good. Has a great cover of "Love You Down" (feminine nouns intact, of course). That's all I have to say about it at this point, as it seems to demand a good deal of unpacking, which is as I would expect from her.

The Reverend, Friday, 9 October 2009 21:59 (4 years ago) Permalink

Ooh, I can't wait until Tuesday to get to hear it!

Tuomas, Saturday, 10 October 2009 07:19 (4 years ago) Permalink

"Lola" is so awesome, just keeps kicking into higher gears.

The Reverend, Saturday, 10 October 2009 08:37 (4 years ago) Permalink

! <3

The Reverend, Thursday, 21 February 2013 01:46 (1 year ago) Permalink

WHOA

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 21 February 2013 04:09 (1 year ago) Permalink

super cool!

harvester of lols (Drugs A. Money), Thursday, 21 February 2013 06:52 (1 year ago) Permalink

1 year passes...

"past is prelude aint it" is one of the all-time beef shots ever fired, lolling all day about it

Now I Am Become Dracula (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Monday, 21 April 2014 23:19 (3 months ago) Permalink

song is amazing shade is amazing meshell is amazing

lex pretend, Tuesday, 22 April 2014 11:11 (3 months ago) Permalink

ha, she had said before that Prince had said some not so nice things to her but I always assumed it was regarding her sexuality

steendriver dysphoria hoos (The Reverend), Tuesday, 22 April 2014 21:54 (3 months ago) Permalink

sooo excited I get to be in the same room as her in a couple days ^__^

steendriver dysphoria hoos (The Reverend), Tuesday, 22 April 2014 21:54 (3 months ago) Permalink

fans of Meshell’s will no doubt be intrigued by her cover of Whodini’s “Friends”, a seminal hip-hop track originally released in 1984. Commenting on her inspiration for choosing this song, Meshell explains: “I play with a lot of people who play improvisational music and jazz, and I thought it would be fun to take something that they might think of as easy or straight-forward, and do something different with it. I also like how language is morphing, and 'friends' is such a malleable word, I don't even know what it means anymore.”

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 23 April 2014 14:18 (3 months ago) Permalink

yeah i'm so psyched for that. cover of "love you down" on devil's halo is all time

emo canon in twee major (BradNelson), Wednesday, 23 April 2014 14:56 (3 months ago) Permalink

this new song is not getting enough love, it's really something

lex pretend, Wednesday, 23 April 2014 15:54 (3 months ago) Permalink

it sounds so good

IKEA metaballs (Spottie), Wednesday, 23 April 2014 15:55 (3 months ago) Permalink

Sup.

steendriver dysphoria hoos (The Reverend), Friday, 25 April 2014 04:55 (3 months ago) Permalink

<3

resulting post (rogermexico.), Friday, 25 April 2014 05:30 (3 months ago) Permalink

Cool!

kidd-gilchrist-douglas-roberts- (Spottie), Friday, 25 April 2014 07:36 (3 months ago) Permalink

:D

lex pretend, Friday, 25 April 2014 07:37 (3 months ago) Permalink

o

m

g

rev = hero

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 25 April 2014 15:46 (3 months ago) Permalink

revvvvvvvvvvvv

emo canon in twee major (BradNelson), Friday, 25 April 2014 18:25 (3 months ago) Permalink

O_O

Awesome!

Drugs A. Money, Saturday, 26 April 2014 03:43 (3 months ago) Permalink

Her thoughts at the keynote ruled.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 26 April 2014 04:46 (3 months ago) Permalink

3 weeks pass...

fyi this album is amazing

lex pretend, Wednesday, 21 May 2014 12:23 (2 months ago) Permalink

halfway through it struck me that, despite being VERY different artists, meshell is one of very few singers whose aesthetic could be compared to sade's

lex pretend, Wednesday, 21 May 2014 12:24 (2 months ago) Permalink

Direct quote from booklet:

Thank You Naïve
Thank You Girlie Action
Thank You Reverend

Andy K, Tuesday, 27 May 2014 17:31 (2 months ago) Permalink

that's me! :D

The Reverend, Tuesday, 27 May 2014 19:36 (2 months ago) Permalink

revvvv

emo canon in twee major (BradNelson), Tuesday, 27 May 2014 19:56 (2 months ago) Permalink

listening now, the groove on 'Forget My Name' is so sick.

festival culture (Jordan), Wednesday, 28 May 2014 14:38 (2 months ago) Permalink

interviewing her in an hour!

lex pretend, Wednesday, 28 May 2014 17:40 (2 months ago) Permalink

Whoa rev!

nova ydal (Drugs A. Money), Wednesday, 28 May 2014 19:18 (2 months ago) Permalink

really dig this record. it's less directly melodic and rhythmically shifting than her last few but i'm into that, these are really gorgeous, discrete explorations of mood and groove. "continuous performance" is my favorite i think

emo canon in twee major (BradNelson), Sunday, 1 June 2014 15:30 (2 months ago) Permalink

the "friends" cover kicks so much ass

emo canon in twee major (BradNelson), Sunday, 1 June 2014 15:31 (2 months ago) Permalink

yes

pugger pugger (benson) (The Reverend), Sunday, 1 June 2014 18:42 (2 months ago) Permalink

idk, I don't think I've loved one of her albums in its entirety since Devil's Halo but I'm always willing to sit down with them and try to work them out

pugger pugger (benson) (The Reverend), Sunday, 1 June 2014 18:43 (2 months ago) Permalink

same, but weather felt more disorganized than this one

emo canon in twee major (BradNelson), Sunday, 1 June 2014 18:54 (2 months ago) Permalink

Really must get this.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 1 June 2014 18:55 (2 months ago) Permalink

Yeah, Weather might be my least favorite album of hers, this one definitely has more going on.

uppers epilepsy sh@kedown (The Reverend), Sunday, 1 June 2014 18:56 (2 months ago) Permalink

New album is fantastic. Perhaps not as out there as TWHMMTMOMD or as raw as Devil's Halo, but super super pretty. It feels like a nice summation of her previous 4 "proper" albums.

Tim F, Sunday, 1 June 2014 22:52 (2 months ago) Permalink

ha i disagree with everyone (except re: the quality)!

i think it's her most direct, most accessible, most straightforwardly melodic album in years and years, possibly since the '90s. (when i talked to her she talked about this being more spontaneous and less heavy than other recent ones)

weather is possibly my favourite of her albums, full stop, though it's not a definite thing and a large part of it might be "oysters", but i've definitely never thought of it as disorganised, whereas this one shares with the new tori amos a v freeing sense of there being no overarching theme or sound, just "some songs, here you go"

favs so far are "forget my name" (which has the same vibe as sade does when she does reggae), "choices", "folie à deux" (well, "conviction" and "friends" are the two immediate standouts obv)

lex pretend, Monday, 2 June 2014 06:59 (1 month ago) Permalink

Well i for one definitely agree with:

"i think it's her most direct, most accessible, most straightforwardly melodic album in years and years"

I like Weather a lot too, though probably slightly behind those mentioned in my last post.

Tim F, Monday, 2 June 2014 07:09 (1 month ago) Permalink

I'm actually not wowed by the cover of "Friends" but do like much of the rest of the release.

curmudgeon, Monday, 2 June 2014 14:02 (1 month ago) Permalink

huh i think devil's halo is her most outwardly melodic record though perhaps not straightforwardly (and perhaps it just hits a specific sensibility for me that the new one interestingly eludes)

i do like weather more than rev. "objects in the mirror"! kinda crash-lands with the chelsea hotel cover though

emo canon in twee major (BradNelson), Monday, 2 June 2014 14:05 (1 month ago) Permalink

haha i remember reading this thread, downloading devil's halo, and getting immediately overwhelmed by "slaughter"

emo canon in twee major (BradNelson), Monday, 2 June 2014 14:08 (1 month ago) Permalink

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/artsdesk/music/2014/06/02/meshell-ndegeocello-on-why-d-c-got-rid-of-go-go/

I interviewed her a few years back circa her Prince tour, here's a colleague's interview with her re the new album and her DC go-go and more roots.

curmudgeon, Monday, 2 June 2014 17:07 (1 month ago) Permalink

xpost "spontaneous": yeah, was thinking it seems more like continuous takes, live in the studio, whatever the actual process: stuff happens, instruments show up, do what they do, and it's not like repeat section C, lick 5, on cue, on cue---so many "performances" get static so fast, you know? Although, in my first listen to that xpost First Listen post, I played each track sep, and thought they tended to start great, but lose momentum. When I played it again opting for the whole, uninterrupted album, this didn't happen, for the most part, although when that little piano part showed up and took over "Colore," I did lose some involvement. Good headphones album, esp. when you turn it up (the vocal undersell is disarming, but risky).
Oh yeah, "Friends" now seems patterned on "Fame"! And the way she brought in Doyle Bramhall reminded me of Bowie and Stevie Ray: blues as a feeling, not a genre. Otherwise (re the way she talks about music in the NPR quotes and links, re "patterns on patterns," building up emotion, and atmosphere, I'd add) Sade comparisons prob pertain a bit more. Her own challenging approach to seduction though (you gotta not be too skurred of women speaking their minds for it to work that way).
Hope she gets to sit in with the Roots---maybe she has? Sorry, I can't get past Fallon himself lately.

dow, Monday, 2 June 2014 21:24 (1 month ago) Permalink

"when that little piano part showed up and took over *"Choices,"* I meant.

dow, Monday, 2 June 2014 21:28 (1 month ago) Permalink

She went to the same high school as me and had the same guitar teacher as me. I had no idea she was a bassist for Rare Essence though.

₴HABΔZZ ¶IZZΔ (Hurting 2), Monday, 2 June 2014 21:54 (1 month ago) Permalink

She also played in Prophecy and in Little Benny & the Masters. Her Dad is Jacques Johnson, a still-active D.C. jazz musician.

curmudgeon, Monday, 2 June 2014 22:40 (1 month ago) Permalink

adore this

I 'SCAPED A GAOL FFS (wins), Monday, 16 June 2014 17:30 (1 month ago) Permalink


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