feature: celebrate meshell ndegeocello’s new lp ‘comet, come to me’ with a chance to win signed cds! #soundcheck

June 2, 2014

Over 20 years into her career and it just seems to get harder and harder to pin Meshell Ndegeocello down. Her last full length album was the powerful Nina Simone tribute Pour une Âme Souveraine, and now she’s back with the genre-defying Comet, Come To Me (out June 3rd).
Opening with a left-field cover of Whodini’s “Friends,” the record declares itself a departure from the soul-folk that’s become Meshell Ndegeocello’s stock and trade early. The cynical eye roll that punctuates the line “Friends, how many of us have them?” finds the artist questioning the sincerity of her relationships. The album covers more familiar territory with “Tom” and “Good Day Bad” before bringing in dub and prog influences on “Forget My Name.” The common thread, as always, is Ndegeocello’s expressive voice and impossibly deep bass playing.

By Nathan Leigh, AFROPUNK Contributor

Straight up, these are some of the best songs of Meshell’s career, her creative wanderlust pushing her in nearly every direction at once. After a run of atmosphere heavy songs, the alt rock “Continuous Performance” kicks in, and though it sounds unlike anything else we’ve heard thus far, it makes perfect sense.

Meshell Ndegeocello’s commanding contralto ties it all together. Even when expressing uncertainty and doubt, her voice has a certain confidence that gives her the right to do whatever the hell she wants. The album closes with the ambient “American Rhapsody.” Riding a few minimal chords over electronic textures, it sustains a mounting tension over 3 soft minutes. The final notes give way, synths hanging in the air, refusing to resolve.

In recent interviews, Meshell has talked up Prince’s influence on her music, though in all honesty it seems like she really ought to repay him the favor. 11 albums into a career, and it’s rare for an artist to still have so much to say.

Album available here.

Leave us your favorite Meshell song in the comments for a chance to win a signed CD! We have 5 CDs to give away. Deadline for submissions: June 3rd 2014.

+ check out Meshell’s tour dates.

Photo by Jason Rodgers