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Bitter

4.6 out of 5 stars 194 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Bitter is the first album in three years from critically acclaimed, Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello (N-day-gay-O-chello). A highly personal, often gentle, sometime sultry, more acoustic album than her two previous best-sellers, Bitter showcases one of today's boldest and most important musical and cultural voices.

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The angular, sensual funk-rock blend of Me'Shell Ndegeocello's 1996 Peace Beyond Passion here gives way to a hushed confessional mood that recalls classics by Joni Mitchell and Rosanne Cash. Ndegeocello puts her formidable bass skills far off to the side here--there's rarely even an electric guitar to be heard on these tracks--in favor of a mix often dominated by a small string section. Occasionally overripe, as on a cover of Hendrix's "May This Be Love," Bitter is nonetheless an intriguing take on one woman's love, confusion, and ultimately, hope. --Rickey Wright
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 24, 1999)
  • Original Release Date: August 24, 1999
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Maverick
  • ASIN: B00000JZC7
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (194 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,456 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Me'Shell is such an incredibly bold and extraordinarily talented artist that I am afraid we will not fully appreciate her for years to come. In her fierce determination to follow her own muse she reminds me a great deal of Joni Mitchell. When Joni followed "Court And Spark" with "Hissing of Summer Lawns", all of the critics and many of her fans were outraged. Today, we look back and see that each LP was a masterpiece in its own right and that they were both bold steps in the evolution of a great artist.
"Bitter" is Me'Shell's "Hissing Of Summer Lawns", just as Joni moved from folk-pop to jazz, Me'Shell is moving beyond her trademark R&B/funk and experimenting with jazz, folk and rock. The CD is awesome and it is definitely as strong as her previous efforts. Craig Street's production is top-notch. "Faithful" is a lament on infidelity that starts out slow and cool, and climaxes with a blistering guitar solo. Jimi Hendrix' "May This Be Love" is freshly reinvented. Other standouts are "Sincerity" and the title track. The cherry on top is the hypnotic "Wasted Time" which features harmony vocals by Joe Henry. Hard to describe the song, it's like a cross between a pensive Trent Reznor and an angry Cassandra Wilson; marvelous!
I was disappointed to see a few people bag on this CD because it did not sound just like "Plantation Lullabies" or "Peace Beyond Passion". Me'shell mastered that retro-soul-funk-acid-jazz-or-whatever-it's-call vibe long before the D'Angelos, Maxwells, Lauryn Hills, and Erykah Badus hit the scene. Yet they sell millions and Me'Shell can't get her video played on MTV (or BET even!).
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Format: Audio CD
I have long been a Me'Shell NdegeOcello fan, realizing my love for her hit its stride when I set my clock to be the first in the record store to purchase her sublime PEACE BEYOND PASSION on its maiden voyage into the world.
BITTER continues the tradition of beauty I have come to expect from the formidable Ms. NdegeOcello. Every song on this wonderful collection is a study in musical genius. "Fool of Me," with its haunting verse that says "When we're face to face/You won't look me in the eye/No time, no friendship, no love," is an incredible song of lost love and the feelings left long after the storm is over. Perhaps my favorite song on the album is "Wasted Time." It is a spare arrangement that begins with the lovely expression "You rarely notice but I hang on your every word." All the songs in between, including a masterful take on Hendrix's "May This Be Love," are spoken by a woman who fits every definition of the term "artist."
It is evident NdegeOcello loves music. I hear it when she speaks of the young lovers who say "Come be with me/Soothe my broken heart/Show me loyalty." It is represented in the voice of the lover that says "He loves with sweetness and sincerity/While she may only pretend." It can be heard when Me'Shell makes the claim "I can't say I've ever been faithful to anything/Except for God."
If you haven't noticed, not only are the musicianship and vocals cause for celebration, but the magnificently crafted lyrics are from a heart ripped in two by the strains and passions of love. However, where there is pain, NdegeOcello offers a method in which lovers can heal themselves.
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Format: Audio CD
Meshell has one of the most recognizable and unique "voices" ever. Plantation Lullabies is a masterpiece. So is "Bitter". She has mastered the art of illustrating human emotions with lyrics that are raw and real. Gorgeous are the melodies and arrangements (piano, strings, acoustic guitar, brushing snare, etc) The journey is thought-provoking and any one who has been hurt by love, has hurt in the name of love, or is simply in love will truly feel these songs. My personal favorites: "Sincerity" "Bitter" "Loyalty" -->'Come be w/me. Soothe my broken heart. Show me LOYALTY <--- "Satisfy" "Fool of Me" "Beautiful" "Grace". I only wish she'd added a track, fierce with her funky bass playing, but that may have been like throwing ice in a pot of boiling oil. Too explosive in a sea of calm. Bitter is a gem in its own right, glimmering with heartfelt odes, pleas, testimonies of love and betrayal or unrequited love, for lovers old and new. It shows how diverse music can be and we need to stop putting labels on artists. And the best thing about this is you can put it on and let it play straight through. The true test of a wonderful CD. No doubt. Nuff respect due to this lady. Go girl! No genie in a bottle here. This is all Meshell.
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Format: Audio CD
I was told before I purchased this album, that it was like its title, "Bitter". A testament in many different aspects of love, most either beginning or ending in a state of melancholy or depression. The lyrics in all of the songs are rich and poetic. Her style is so smooth, you can't help but hold this in your collection as one of the cd's to "mellow out" to. From the first string arrangment in the opener, "adam", all the way to a quiet closing, "Grace", this cd shows so many ways in which this artist has diversified herself and made a new and fresh product which is in short a masterpiece. My favorite song is "Sincerity", in which a man loves a woman deeply and sincerly, but does not recieve the same unconditional love in return. He hopes and waits for the sweetness in her heart, that will never be. This song will evoke many emotions, but most of all, it will simply make you think, and analyze what it is you think love is. More importantly, what it isn't. I recommend this to all open minded music heads worldwide. keep up the good work.
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