When Ms. Mem Nahadr starts singing on the spacious, beatless album opener “Nevermind”, you know you’re hearing a talented woman. When she starts putting down a Stevie Wonder-style groove on the very next track, you wonder why you’ve never heard of her. By the time the album ends, however, you’re so exhausted as to be glad it’s over despite the acknowledgement that a brilliant mind was behind all of it. For every R&B exercise like “Pass it On” (the aforementioned second track) and “The Dance”, there’s a bizarre exercise in ambience (“Starlight”) or a free jazz improv session (“Deep in a Shallow Bed”). Perhaps it’s only fitting that an artist just coming off a one-woman show that she devised called Madwoman would careen so madly from style to style, but that doesn’t make listening to it any easier. Of course, “easy” is hardly the point. EclecticIsM is the name of the album, a perfect title that only begins to hint at the scope of the music it describes.
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