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 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Josh to thread ASAP!

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

you guys are fucking mentalists.

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

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

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

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

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

palabumum is my new favourite word

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

raise yr standards mark.

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

ANYWAY.

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

what Josh said. it's a terrific album

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

colin in not preferring eric axelson shockah!

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

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

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

Eric Axelson in missing bio shockah!

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

five years pass...

guys the new record is really good

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

you think she sings like betty davis?

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

not saying i disagree, ive never really listened to her

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

one 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 (nine years ago) Permalink

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

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

wtf @ hoos comparing her to Betty Davis

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

four 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 (nine years ago) Permalink

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

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

Hahaha!

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

two 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 (nine 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 (nine 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 (nine years ago) Permalink

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

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

one 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 (nine 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 (nine 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 (nine 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 (nine years ago) Permalink

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

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

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

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

Just catching up on 'Comet'...really like this...some strong material on here...like the sparse/moody production...nice

X-Prince Protégé (sonnyboy), Saturday, 17 January 2015 21:23 (three years ago) Permalink

This album fell even a little bit for me but I still think it's really great and does a lot of interesting things

all that glitters ain't cyber gold (Drugs A. Money), Sunday, 18 January 2015 05:32 (three years ago) Permalink

It's pretty good. I didn't really like the bare-bones blues rock of the previous two albums (not counting the Nina Simone tribute, which had its own flaws), so I was pleased to note that she's kinda returned to the psychedelic neosoul (or whatever you can call it) of Comfort Woman and The World Has Made Me..., even if the sound is still more stripped-down than on those.

Tuomas, Sunday, 18 January 2015 21:00 (three years ago) Permalink

still adore this

ØYE MATS (wins), Sunday, 18 January 2015 21:03 (three years ago) Permalink

five months pass...

we did dis togedder last year
http://www.tinymixtapes.com/chocolate-grinder/listen-bunnybrains-if-mountain-was-a-man

danbunny, Sunday, 12 July 2015 23:49 (three years ago) Permalink

and dis one
https://soundcloud.com/bunnybrains/colorado

danbunny, Sunday, 12 July 2015 23:55 (three years ago) Permalink

thanks

curmudgeon, Monday, 13 July 2015 15:57 (three years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

man, comfort woman is an amazing record. i have not listened to the rest of her discog that much but it feels underrated to me by this thread?

i got turned onto it because syd tha kid put "love song #1" on this (great) playlist for rookie (http://www.rookiemag.com/2015/09/life-soundtrack-syd-tha-kyd/) and damn the whole record is mostly good chilled out neo soulish kinda stuff. just like, the perfect sound. i wish there weren't any screaming guitar solos but oh well.

anywho just wanted to rep for that one. she's playing in nyc in a few months.

J0rdan S., Saturday, 7 November 2015 19:00 (three years ago) Permalink

that playlist really is great

insufficiently familiar with xgau's work to comment intelligently (BradNelson), Saturday, 7 November 2015 19:21 (three years ago) Permalink

yes

J0rdan S., Saturday, 7 November 2015 19:25 (three years ago) Permalink

and yeah comfort woman is an incredible, spacious record. a great headphones record too, so much detail

insufficiently familiar with xgau's work to comment intelligently (BradNelson), Saturday, 7 November 2015 19:28 (three years ago) Permalink

i love all of her records though tbh. i only learned recently that the first two were produced by david gamson of scritti politti which 1) blew my mind 2) made a ton of sense when i spent a ton of time with anomie and bonhomie this year, on which meshell features

insufficiently familiar with xgau's work to comment intelligently (BradNelson), Saturday, 7 November 2015 19:29 (three years ago) Permalink

also unsurprisingly i love the aggro screaming psych guitar solos, they are literally the best part of "love song #3"

insufficiently familiar with xgau's work to comment intelligently (BradNelson), Saturday, 7 November 2015 19:52 (three years ago) Permalink

Yeah I only got Comfort Woman last year and I became totally obsessed with it for a while, such an unabashedly sexy album. Love the reggae bass and occasional attempt at Timbaland style stutters.

Tim F, Saturday, 7 November 2015 20:49 (three years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

I don't think I've been as vocal in my love for Comfort Woman as for TWHMMTMOMD or Devil's Halo, but it's the single best album to have sex to ever made by anyone.

The Reverend, Tuesday, 24 November 2015 05:04 (three years ago) Permalink

I would concur, if this album didn't exist:

http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_500/MI0000/187/MI0000187639.jpg

(Which I would recommend it to anyone who wants to listen to some slow cosmic sexy soul music.)

But Comfort Woman is definitely up there, yeah.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 24 November 2015 10:41 (three years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

soooo....where do I start? I own Peace Beyond Passi and nothing else. I've been dipping into Bitter, Comfort Women, Weather.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 31 January 2016 03:38 (two years ago) Permalink

bitter and comfort woman are great introductions imo. I also think you'd loooooove devil's halo

HYPERLINK TO RAP GENIUS (BradNelson), Sunday, 31 January 2016 03:42 (two years ago) Permalink

Comfort Woman is as good a place as any. It's worth noting that most of her albums tend to have a distinct vibe from one another, so there isn't really any one album that can be taken as representative of her work. The World Has Made Me the Man of My Dreams might be something of an exception because it's an expansive tour de force whereas the rest of her albums tend to hone in on doing one thing. But I can also see finding that album overwhelming.

The Reverend, Sunday, 31 January 2016 03:47 (two years ago) Permalink

My problem with Bitter is it's too lyric-focused, which isn't always her great strength.

The Reverend, Sunday, 31 January 2016 03:49 (two years ago) Permalink

I agree to a point, but also every melody on bitter breaks my heart

HYPERLINK TO RAP GENIUS (BradNelson), Sunday, 31 January 2016 03:53 (two years ago) Permalink

I'll have to go back to it. I haven't listened to any of her 90s work in a long time.

The Reverend, Sunday, 31 January 2016 03:55 (two years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

im catching up with some of her stuff that ive missed. its interesting how much of a 'better' singer she has become over the years. but also the one thing that i think will always be a barrier for her is that shes still too limited/mannered as a singer. it doesnt matter ultimately, if the songs are good enough, but its like shes permanently going for 'gracefully wounded'.

dirty world is my shit however.
(soundcloud is pretty excellent at guessing what i want to hear next lol)

StillAdvance, Monday, 27 June 2016 10:15 (two years ago) Permalink

ten months pass...

I need a new Meshell album.

in the meantime is it time for an albums poll?

Tim F, Wednesday, 3 May 2017 13:43 (one year ago) Permalink

agreed and yes

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Wednesday, 3 May 2017 14:10 (one year ago) Permalink

three months pass...

https://www.instagram.com/p/BXqorhCDP9u/

includes: an excerpt of her cover of "tender love," potentially from a new album coming out in november?

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Friday, 11 August 2017 23:00 (one year ago) Permalink

ohhhh it's a covers album https://www.instagram.com/p/BWd2EJrjntB/

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Friday, 11 August 2017 23:08 (one year ago) Permalink

incidentally holy shit at that tracklist

1. wonder if i take you home
2. Nite& day
3. Sometimes it snows in april
4. Waterfalls
5. Atomic dog
6. Sensitivity
7. Funny how time flies
8. Tender Love
9. Don't disturb this groove
10. Private dancer
11. Smooth Operator

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Friday, 11 August 2017 23:10 (one year ago) Permalink

!!!

Yoni Loves Chocha (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 12 August 2017 00:00 (one year ago) Permalink

yesss

Larry Elleison (rogermexico.), Saturday, 12 August 2017 17:53 (one year ago) Permalink

five months pass...

https://soundcloud.com/officialmeshell/sometimes-it-snows-in-april/s-gR5VM

and a lyric video for "tender love"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZSCWwCJAxI

album out 3/16

sophistipop 2 (stritram), Saturday, 13 January 2018 12:35 (eleven months ago) Permalink

gonna b so gooooood

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 13 January 2018 17:53 (eleven months ago) Permalink

i'm so hyped, these are both so gorgeous

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Saturday, 13 January 2018 17:58 (eleven months ago) Permalink

in particular her "sometimes it snows in april" is just killing me

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Saturday, 13 January 2018 18:06 (eleven months ago) Permalink

wowwwwwwwww @ the "sometimes it snows in april" cover

Tim F, Saturday, 13 January 2018 18:28 (eleven months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

https://www.npr.org/2018/03/08/590336350/first-listen-meshell-ndegeocello-ventriloquism

1980s songs slowed down with interesting vocal touches and instrumental flourishes.

Reference to Neil Young Harvest listening at time of recording makes sense too

curmudgeon, Friday, 9 March 2018 21:09 (nine months ago) Permalink

very good and cool record

k3vin k., Sunday, 18 March 2018 02:53 (nine months ago) Permalink

https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/meshell-ndegeocello-ventriloquism/

great review brad. i've listened to the "sometimes it snows in april" cover nearly every day since it came out. the whole album is quite something.

piper at the gates of d'awwww (voodoo chili), Monday, 19 March 2018 18:06 (nine months ago) Permalink

thank you!!

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Monday, 19 March 2018 18:09 (nine months ago) Permalink

atomic dog 2017 is so awesome lol. possibly even more dog-like than the orginal, but not quite as dogg-like as snoop's "what's my name"

piper at the gates of d'awwww (voodoo chili), Monday, 19 March 2018 18:10 (nine months ago) Permalink

https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/8232751/meshell-ndegeocello-ventriloquism

She talks about making covers her own and her take on Bruno Mars (“karaoke “)

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 20 March 2018 04:02 (eight months ago) Permalink

I listened to this album 4 times today. Clearly something I needed.

President Keyes, Wednesday, 21 March 2018 01:02 (eight months ago) Permalink

yeah, this album is cool. i think my favorite is "sensitivity."

jaymc, Wednesday, 21 March 2018 01:13 (eight months ago) Permalink

this album is a real beauty. it is one of those few cover albums where most of the covers are better than the originals.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Wednesday, 21 March 2018 15:20 (eight months ago) Permalink

I get very strong Sade vibes from Meshell's voice on this album. But of course the music here is not muzak at all.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Wednesday, 21 March 2018 20:11 (eight months ago) Permalink

four weeks pass...

Nice gig last night at Kennedy Center. Some cuts from new album plus Nina Simone ones too. She had a photo of her deceased sax-playing Dad onstage, and talked about going through her records earlier in the day at her family’s place. I like her on keyboard as well as bass.

curmudgeon, Friday, 27 April 2018 15:13 (seven months ago) Permalink

seven months pass...

She's gonna be back at Kennedy Center Sunday this time with a version of her James Baldwin Tribute. In 2016, she did a stage musical, “Can I Get a Witness? The Gospel of James Baldwin” at the Harlem Stage in New York. Also per article : This version will be a concert, forgoing the costumes, blocking and sets of the original production but including the spoken narration drawn from Baldwin’s book and the songs written by Ndegeocello, Toshi Reagon, Justin Hicks and Staceyann Chin.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/goingoutguide/music/meshell-ndegeocello-gives-a-reading-from-the-scripture-of-james-baldwin/2018/12/13/8c60e91c-f7e4-11e8-8d64-4e79db33382f_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.ed24111fc73c

“When I was younger,” Ndegeocello says by phone from her current home in Brooklyn, “I couldn’t understand why people looked down on my mother just because she didn’t have much education, why my father was so bitter about not advancing in the military the way his white colleagues did, why I loved the music in church but disliked the fire-and-brimstone sermons. When I read ‘The Fire Next Time,’ it all started to make sense. Baldwin was a game changer in creating a language for the marginalized.”

curmudgeon, Friday, 14 December 2018 13:50 (five days ago) Permalink

Tickets were kind of pricey and I didn't splurge for it tonight. Have seen her a number of times, but I am still kind of regretting missing this James Baldwin tribute show of hers.

curmudgeon, Monday, 17 December 2018 03:25 (two days ago) Permalink


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