Bitter is an appropriate title for Meshell Ndegéocello's third album. Inspired by a torturous romantic relationship, Bitter surges with emotions, and most of them are shaded with regret, remorse, or bitterness. Undoubtedly, the relationship was painful, but it has given Ndegéocello an artistic focus missing on her two previous albums. It provides a sorrowful, meditative emotional template that she matches with moody, slow songs that flow into each other. It's the kind of album that demands close listening, otherwise it has the tendency to fade into the background. For some listeners, concentrated listening may be a little difficult, given the bleak emotions of the music, but Ndegéocello's subtle songcraft truly reveals itself upon close inspection. And, with repeated plays, Bitter reveals itself as the most personal -- and in many ways, most rewarding -- album of her career.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine