Ultra Naté

Grime, Silk and Thunder | Tommy Boy
By MICHAEL FREEDBERG  |  June 5, 2007
3.0 3.0 Stars
On the cover of her fifth CD, Naté looks to-die-for in midnight-blue opera gloves and strapless gown. The title, too, flaunts a surprise: it comes, according to her bio, from a Rolling Stone article in which Kurt Cobain described Nirvana’s Nevermind. Silk is plentiful here, as always in her diva world; grime and thunder, however, are but an undercurrent to this set of 14 gently insinuating songs, though the Montreal-style, 1980s electronica of “Love’s the Only Drug” and the techno setting of “Automatic” (originally done by the Pointer Sisters) will surprise the Ultra Naté fan accustomed to soulful, slow-tempo insinuation. Just as unexpected are “It’s Over Now” — 8:26 of exotic-sounding atmospheric house music — and “Star,” with its big big strut beat and in-your-face glamor. The rest of the CD is classic Ultra: silky vocals (“Loosely Based On,” “Feel Love,” and the Chic-like “Freak On”), melodic 1970s disco (“Falling” and the gritty “Lethal Shot”), empathetic messages, garagy beats (the tasty “Scandal” and “This House,” which was mixed by UK house veterans Stonebridge), and chill-out (“Slow Grind”), in which voice and rhythm keep their balance even while letting go.
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  Topics: CD Reviews , Kurt Cobain, Pointer Sisters, Nirvana (Musical Group)
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