Meshell Ndegeocello first teased her upcoming album “Ventriloquism” by releasing a stunning cover of the Prince song, ”Sometimes it Snows in April,” in January. Fans of the musician’s smooth voice and virtuosic bass skills can now indulge in the full album of covers almost a week before its March 16 release. 

NPR published a first listen of the album today (March 8). Billboard reported that the album features 11 songs that span a period from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s—a time frame that roughly corresponds with her start in the music industry and 1993 debut album, “Plantation Lullabies.” 

“The year around the recording of this album was so disorienting and dispiriting for me personally and for so many people I know and spoke to all the time,” Ndegeocello explained in a description of “Ventriloquism” on her website. I looked for a way to make something that was light while things around me were so dark, a musical place to go that reminded me of another, brighter time.”

Besides “Sometimes it Snows in April,” the songs featured on the album include a beat-heavy version of “Smooth Operator” by Sade, a folk-inspired adaptation of “Waterfalls” by TLC and a bluegrass-infused cover of “Sensitivity” by Ralph Tresvant

Listen to “Ventriloquism” in full via NPR.org.