Meshell Ndegeocello has come a long way since her sassy debut album that featured the provocative single, “If That’s Your Boyfriend, He Wasn’t Last Night“. The sound reflected R&B, Hip Hop and Dance of the time with a rebel at its helm. Every album since has explored deeper grounds both lyrically and musically showcasing Ndegeocello’s more reflective side. Nothing could be more personal than her latest album, “Weather”, produced by Joe Henry (Aimee Mann, Ani DiFranco). What hasn’t changed is the singer’s ability to fuse a song with a combination of her delicate falsetto vocals mixed with her deep sounding vocal ability that often are layered on top of each other to create an even eerier and fuller range. For those who loved that initial sound by the artist, I invite you to take a listen or revisit this arguably underappreciated artist who has taken risks as a musician and vocalist. Musically, Meshell incorporates sounds of the blues as in the title track, “Weather” and immediately shifts gears on the lush arrangement for “Objects In The Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear” definitely one of the best tracks on the album. Other standout tracks include the 60’s musically inspired, “Chance” and the stripped down beautiful, “Oysters”. “Rapid Fire” is a sensory and dreamy track featuring a thumping beat and baseline with layered piano arrangements. Ndegeocello narrates over strong melodies while shifting to deep vocal power with her chorus. “Crazy and Wild” is a dark duet performed with Revolting Cocks singer, Chris Connelly. The pair deliver a haunting yet effective track. Both covers, “Chelsea Hotel” and “Don’t Take My Kindness For Weakness” fit nicely on “Weather” adding to the reflective and experimental side of this album.
Ideal Listening: Give “Weather” up to three listens before forming your opinion. This is definitely one to listen alone at first with a headset while sipping a glass of wine. The moody and eclectic musical arrangements will be greatly appreciated after every listen.
Rating: 3 1/2 Pulses