Jon Blistein for ROLLING STONE – Singer-songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello unveiled a gorgeous cover of Prince’s “Sometimes It Snows in April,” the first offering from her upcoming covers LP, Ventriloquism.
Ndegeocello puts a unique yet faithful spin on Prince’s Parade ballad, opening her version with a rumbling tangle of bass and guitar that delicately unravels into the melody. Ndegeocello delivers a enthralling vocal performance, with her rich voice jumping between registers as each resonant syllable rounded off with a hush.
“I had to make something of him, for him,” Ndegeocello tells Rolling Stone of her Prince cover. “I’ve made so much because of him. I still can’t believe he’s not on the planet and this was as close to closure as I’d get.”
Ventriloquism is available to pre-order. The record will also feature covers of TLC’s “Waterfalls,” George Clinton’s “Atomic Dog 2017,” Janet Jackson’s “Funny How Time Flies (When You’re Having Fun),” Tina Turner’s “Private Dancer” and Sade’s “Smooth Operator.”
Ndegeocello also shared her cover of Force MDs’ song “Tender Love,” in which she flips the R&B ballad into an acoustic folk tune tinged with a harmonica that unmistakably recalls Neil Young.
“I recorded this album in California and I was driving around with Abe Rounds, my friend and the drummer I play with, and we were listening to [Young’s record] Harvest every day,” Ndegeocello says. “We’d go into the studio to record these tunes and it was dissonant. ‘Tender Love’ reminds me of life in D.C., as a young person, and I wanted to bring the two together. I like the genre-bending, I like making something new by way of another old gem.”