Ladybug Mecca

Childlike wonder swarms around Ladybug Mecca's solo debut, Trip the Light Fantastic, as she skips from genre to genre and her voice flutters between singing and rapping. With each recollection of grade school, each whimsical protagonist, and each jump-rope-rhyme chorus, it's clearer that for this member of the newly reformed Digable Planets, Trip the Light Fantastic signals, well, a rebirth. More often than not, her devil-may-care attitude is infectious, from the disc's many samba songs to "Remember When," in which she fearlessly freaks over lopsided percussion, a tangle of bongos and snares. She doesn't even blink.

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Rich Juzwiak