Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Me'Shell Ndegéocello

In 1992, flushed with success, the  pop star Madonna did what any zillionaire phenomenon would do: start her own label, Maverick Records. There was quite a bit of speculation as to what artists Ms. Ciccone planned to sign, and when it was announced that a female sexually ambiguous African American bass playing songwriter who was formerly a member of New York’s Black Rock Coalition who had a nearly unpronounceable name would be the first artist to be released on her new roster, it was met with a collected “who?”
But that was a quick fix. Meshell Ndegeocello’s first CD, Plantation Lullabies, though wasn’t a breakthrough sales success, was a critical one that heralded a new, distinctive voice. She appeared on many best of the year lists 9 in 1993 and has since been nominated for 10 Grammys.
A master musician, Ndegeocello has gone on to write, produce, and play on many consistently superb discs since then. The Leopard’s personal favorite is Bitter, a musical confessional so personal if the songs weren’t so beautiful you’d think you were listening in on a lovers’ private conversation. (Click To hear "Bitter".)

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