10-time GRAMMY nominee, Meshell Ndegeocello’s music twists and turns through so many genres — R&B, pop, jazz, hip-hop — that it’s hard to put a finger on just where she wants to take you. Not surprisingly, Ndegeocello has defied labels throughout her 20+ year career as one of the brightest and most innovating artists in music today.
Musically, Ventriloquism has the hallmarks of all of Ndegeocello’s work, lush and investigative, subversive and sublime. As always, she pays tribute to her diverse influences and in these eleven covers, we hear them layered over one another. Ndegeocello filters “Tender Love” through a folky, Californian filter and brings Vaudevillian accents to “Sensitivity”. She recreates Smooth Operator in five and turns “Private Dancer” into a sultry waltz. The reimagining affords not just a new musical experience but also a comment on the narrow expectations of sounds and structures for black artists and black music. (Article written by Alys Stephen Center)