Album: Meshell Ndegeocello, Weather (Naive)

Producer Joe Henry writes a brilliant sleevenote arguing that great artists transcend genre.

Then he makes Ndegeocello sound like Tears For Fears by saddling her with a 1980s-friendly, thwacking-drums studio band who also co-write the tunes. Ndegeocello's creativity seems to be reserved for her lyrics (she plays bass on only three tracks), and a roue-ish persona reinforced by a superfluous cover of "Chelsea Hotel". Any good songs sound like demos awaiting their final form.

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