Discovering The Mystery Of Meshell Ndegeocello With 'Devil's Halo'


It took 16 years for me to learn how to pronounce her name, but only 10 seconds to embrace the eclectic vibe of Meshell Ndegeocello's music. Since 1993, the Grammy-nominated bassist/singer/songwriter has spun a web of soul, funk, rock, jazz, hip hop and R&B that captures her journey of love and life. Her eighth album release, Devil's Halo, weaves in and out of various musical lanes; often veering from her bass-thumping styles we've experienced in the past. 

Within the course of 37 concentrated minutes, Meshell's gruff yet sensual contralto carries you on a rollercoaster of emotions. "Slaughter" is an ambient surprise with grunge infusions throughout a soft vocal delivery. Need a rock-inspired tune to get your blood pumping? Take "Mass Transit" for a spin and feel your heart rate sync with the rhythm of her guitar. 
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Meshell Ndegeocello: "Slaughter"

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Sway to the reggae beat of her ode to a "White Girl." This infectious joint is proof that love can be hard, euphoric and uber sexy with no respect of race or gender. Her rendition of Ready For the World's "Love You Down" puts an atmospheric twist on an '80s R&B classic. 

Meshell Ndegeocello: "Love You Down"

Although Meshell is known to spit a hot verse of spoken word or rhymes in her acoustic arsenal, she truly stretches the limits of her creativity in Halo. Instead of looking for the husky vocalist from the '90s, I challenge you to wrap yourself around the evolution of this remarkable artist. Meshell may be viewed as the godmother of the neo-soul movement, but Devil's Halo fits in no category. This is just music. Damn good music. She isn't afraid to push her talent to the edge of the abyss and, as her career progresses, I anticipate she will go beyond...and take us with her. 

Devil's Halo is evidence of Meshell's virtuosity getting better with time. Her perspective on relationships is delivered with bold, multifarious instrumentation that soothes as well as burns like a shot of your favorite liquour. Buy this album, along with some fresh candles--you're going to need them both.
Meshell Ndegeocello Devil's Halo [Amazon][iTunes]
Meshell Ndegeocello [MySpace]

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