Meshell Ndegeocello Devil's Halo
Uncut: (magazine) (p.97) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Her best album for many years illustrates her uniqueness....Ndegeocello is as uncompromising and eclectic as ever."
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- Released: October 6, 2009
- Originally Released: 2009
- Label: Downtown
Uncut - p.973 stars out of 5 -- "Her best album for many years illustrates her uniqueness....Ndegeocello is as uncompromising and eclectic as ever."
Billboard (p.32) - "DEVIL'S HERO neatly straddles a line between challenging and accessible, with some of the tightest and catchiest compositions she's yet brought forth."
- 2.Tie One On
- 4.Hair of the Dog
- 5.Mass Transit
- 6.White Girl
- 7.Love You Down
- 8.Devil's Halo
- 9.Bright Shiny Morning
- 10.Blood on the Curb
- 11.Die Young
- 12.Crying in Your Beer
Audio Mixer: Bob Power.
Photographer: Mark Seliger.
On three of her last four recordings, Me'Shell Ndeg‚ocello has showcased her aesthetic restlessness, expanding her musical horizons to jazz, hip-hop, and the far-flung reaches of rock as well as funk and soul. On DEVIL'S HALO, she focuses her vision deliberately on a dozen soulish, near-pop, rock tunes. Recorded by S. Husky H”skulds, it's stark compared to her last three albums. Ndeg‚ocello plays bass and sings backed by guitarist Chris Bruce, drummer Deantoni Parks, and keyboardist Keith Ciancia, with guest appearances by Oren Bloedow and Lisa Germano.
Desire haunts all the songs on DEVIL'S HALO, beginning with "Slaughter," its opening track. Ndeg‚ocello sings slowly, softly, deliberately, without a hint of irony: "She said she loved me/I ran away/ Don't say you love me/I'll run away..." "Mass Transit" is funkier, a bit more aggressive from the outset with Bruce's guitar leading the way, though Ndeg‚ocello's bassline offers an alternate read on both melody and rhythmic pulse. "White Girl" may be the straightest pop song Ndeg‚ocello's ever written, but its bassline is strictly dubwise. The vocals are smoky and elliptical, they create their own chorus in reverb and in the singer's deliberately stretched-out phrase, all around a very simple, hooky melody. The title track is a nearly ambient instrumental, with Ndeg‚ocello playing harmonics on her bass in the mix just underneath a snare and kick drum barely outlining the time signature. Ndeg‚ocello can always quite literally articulate her musical vision, but she hasn't been so nakedly vulnerable and brazenly honest on record as she is here. She remains musically mercurial and virtually unclassifiable, even if she is at her most accessible on DEVIL'S HALO
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