Meshell Ndegeocello

Cookie: The Anthropological Mixtape

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A few things are proven on Cookie: The Anthropological Mixtape, mainly that Me'Shell Ndegéocello can still play bass, and that three years between albums can be worth the wait. Both concepts were tested with her previous disc, Bitter, which lacked Ndegéocello's playing skills and floundered under mixed reviews and limited commercial appeal. While her fifth disc may not alleviate the latter, the former should be back around in droves. The attempts at pop songcraft heard on her earlier albums and best represented with the minor hit "If That's Your Boyfriend" seem long gone. That's not to say that Cookie is not catchy, just not within the parameters of traditional pop methodology, as she instead brings the funk constantly, mixing it up with a smattering of jazzy sensibilities and hip-hop. Ultimately, the disc is a mix of Afrocentrifugal explosiveness -- not only from the music, but also from her powerful lyrics that make the political personal and the personal political.

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