Home > Album Reviews > Album Review: New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh

Album Review: New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh

 

Rating Scale is as Follows:

βββββ – Classic (i.e. “Forever” Music)

ββββ – Superior (i.e. “Good” Music)

βββ – Average (i.e. “Typical” Music)

ββ – Needs Work (i.e. “Save Your Money” Music)

β – Garbage (i.e. Hot Garbage)

Hit the jump for the review…

Rating: ββββ & 1/2

It’s hard to believe it’s been 13 years since Erykah Badu released her debut album “Baduizm”. Erykah delivered a timeless soul album towards the end of hip-hop’s “golden era” and the beginning of the neo-soul movement. The year was 1997, a year after Maxwell’s debut, a month before the release of the classic film “Love Jones”, and approximately 3 years before we would ever hear the name D’Angelo or Jill Scott. To this day “Baduizm” remains my favorite Erykah Badu release. From beginning to end it delivers conscious lyricism (“Drama”), the struggles of love (“Next Lifetime”),  and soulful tracks that blend hip-hop and jazz (“On & On” & “Otherside of the Game”).

Fast forward to 2010 and if you turn on your television or radio it should be apparent that we’re living in a New Amerykah. Like most great artists, Erykah Badu shows growth in her new material but still remains true to her sound. While New Amerykah Part I might have been Badu’s most eclectic album to date, Part II births a blend of both the old and the new. The album leads off with the organ heavy “20 Feet Tall”, a short tail about love and learning about oneself “after the fall”. The lead single “Window Seat” (see the video here) exemplifies what we’ve come to love about Badu. Over the percussion of The Roots own ?uestlove, Erykah Badu takes you on a journey in a way only she can. The upbeat “Turn Me Away (Get MuNNY)”, samples Sylvia Striplin’s “You Can’t Turn Me Away”, but most will recognize it from the classic Junior Mafia record with a similar title. From here the album mellows out with beautiful songs like “Fall In Love (your funeral)” and “Gone Baby, Don’t Be Long”. The California-based DJ Madlib makes his presence felt on a few of the album’s best produced tracks “Umm Hmm” and the semi-instrumental “Incense”. Badu even enlists the help of the legendary J-Dilla on the funk influenced “Love”.

There aren’t many flaws in Erykah’s latest opus and with the current state of contemporary R&B music on the decline….the state of the union Amerykah looks and sounds pretty good.

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  1. effortlesslyash
    March 31, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    I need to cop this….when I get paid.
    Like seriously.

  2. March 31, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    Yes, you definitely need it in your life Ash :)

  3. April 2, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Nice review. Great album.

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