Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Me'shell Ndegéocello

  • Plantation Lullabies [Maverick/Sire/Reprise, 1993] **
  • Peace Beyond Passion [Maverick/Reprise, 1996] B+
  • Bitter [Maverick, 1999] ***
  • Cookie: The Anthropological Mkixtape [Maverick, 2002] A-
  • Comfort Woman [Maverick, 2003] Dud
  • The World Has Made Me the Man of My Dreams [EmArcy, 2007] Choice Cuts
  • Devil's Halo [Mercer Street, 2009] Dud

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Plantation Lullabies [Maverick/Sire/Reprise, 1993]
deprived of womanist rap, we settle for strong-woman singsong ("I'm Diggin' You [Like an Old Soul Record," "Picture Show") **

Peace Beyond Passion [Maverick/Reprise, 1996]
Anything but a sucker for texts from the Old Testament, Jesus, Shiva, and Kahlil Gibran, I kept wondering who the bass player was. As I should have known and kind of guessed, it was the text-borrower in question. So never mind about Leviticus--this is the humanistic groove never quite made flesh by the jazz-tinged ambient foreground of Sade, Anita Baker, and D'Angelo. Then go back and admire the text from Bill Withers. B+

Bitter [Maverick, 1999]
Slow is beautiful ("Loyalty," "Sincerity," "Satisfy"). ***

Cookie: The Anthropological Mkixtape [Maverick, 2002]
Age increased the wisdom she trafficked in while familiarity cut into the sexual allure that ran the roadblocks. So here's hoping Madonna Inc. is as ready to forgive Ndegéocello's limited profitability as she is to not be a materialistic girl. Her basslines prove that unmaterialistic ain't immaterial, and without resorting to anything so obvious as a hook she manages to maintain continuity and interest over an hour-plus of poetry-with-funk. Quiet storm music for people who don't turn off their brains when they get down to bidness--at least not right away. A-

Comfort Woman [Maverick, 2003] Dud

The World Has Made Me the Man of My Dreams [EmArcy, 2007]
"Article 3" Choice Cuts

Devil's Halo [Mercer Street, 2009] Dud

See Also