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Meshell Ndegeocello | Ventriloquism
According to Andy Healy: “The challenge with recording a cover is that for the well-versed listener, the original will always play along in their head in time with the new interpretation. As a result, each variation is amplified and each carbon copy vilified. The artist must either walk the tightrope of giving just enough familiarity to engage, but not too much to make the cover redundant. Or they can boldly leap toward taking the song into a new space that breathes new life into it.
The latter is what Ndegeocello does so well on this album. With many of the originals steeped in quantized mechanical drumbeats and chintzy synths of the era, she reshapes them and makes them sound more organic and tactile by fleshing them out with a full band feel.
Recorded during a time of grieving for Ndegeocello following the passing of her father, Ventriloquism finds her giving voice to her pain through the works of others, and in doing so, making the journey all her own. It’s an album well worth diving into whether you are a fan of the original recordings or not.”