We’re here to review Meshell Ndegeocello’s Devil’s Halo, which was released today, October 6th on Downtown Records. It contains twelve songs, which will expand your expectations of her. This is her eighth album, if I am correct. I may be wrong since there are albums which were released in Japan, then here. She is a very prolific artist, which is a gift from above for her fans. She has many albums that just don’t fit a description, and that’s ok. So, I’m not going to try and imprison her music, style and vision to my perceived thoughts. Yes, it’s that deep.
The first notion that you should toss away, like your unused cell phone minutes. You are not going to hear a hook of the song title with in the song. Sounds strange that you have to explain that, but it’s sad that it’s required. We get so accustomed to music being presented to us in a certain way, but when we receive it in a new format, we find it odd, instead of refreshing. The second notion is that a song must be a certain length. If you think of each song as an entity upon its self, and think of a song’s brevity as way to strengthen it. You will be able to truly understand and enjoy this album.
The first song that strikes me, and gently tugs at my soul is “Tie One On”. It’s a poetic song that journeys through a tale of a bar filled with loneliness and desperation. The faint echo of her voice carries each verse with meaning, that is more than itself. With just a guitar, drum and further along a piano, they add power to each verse.
“Hair Of The Dog” is a song that fans of “Comfort Woman” will love. It has more of that astral echo, that gives the song space and depth. This is one example of the short songs, but it just makes you focus and really enjoy each moment and sound that much more.
This next song “Love You Down” is a cover of a song by Ready For The World from 1986. Meshell’s version of this song would make Prince jealous. The sensuality, coupled with the relaxed tempo makes it steam. Like it’s been reduced down to it’s essence, and injected into your ears slowly. Yes, it’s that good.
One of my favorite songs is “Blood On The Curb”. It makes me think that The Psychedelic Furs, became the band for Meshell. You can feel the angst in her voice. This song really shows the varied styles contained in the album.
If you liked any of her previous albums, you’ll love this one. If you are a new fan, this album is a definite buy. Just be open and enjoy. With an album so forward in it’s thought, I only desire one thing. That’s to see the direction of her next album. Will she expand on any of these experiments and reveal even more of her self to us? This album is available on iTunes and Amazon. Enjoy.