Song of the Day: Meshell Ndegeocello “Tender Love”
Meshell Ndegeocello. Washington, DC native. Stylistic chameleon. Evolutionarily focused. Low end master.
Meshell Ndegeocello is one of those artists I return to time and time again when I need to reacquaint myself with what it means to follow one’s muse above all else. Her openness, curiosity and mastery have lead her to always seek new ways to put notes and words together even with three decades in the game. From go-go to rock to funk to rap to jazz and R&B, Meshell always approaches each recording with a new dimension and her live shows distill all of these styles seamlessly.
With that background, I was excited to hear of her album of covers that was to drop at the top of 2018 and since its release, Ventriloquism is holding strong as my album of the year.
The combination is irresistible for me. Meshell’s keen eye for recontextualisation applied to my favorite R&B songs from the ’80s. The final result was almost doomed to fall short of my high anticipation but thankfully it did not.
“Tender Love” is delightful but not my favorite on an album where choosing favorites is difficult. I’m sharing it here because turning a beloved bubble gum slow jam from the Krush Groove soundtrack into a mournful country ballad is bold, cheeky, fun and simply perfect. Jam & Lewis with harmonica and dobro. This is how Meshell thinks and we’re all the beneficiaries. Original tune included here as well to really get into the contrast.
Meshell Ndegeocello‘s version:
Force M D‘s version: