Singer, Actress, Producer Erica Abi Wright or as we know her, Erykah Badu has recently released her 6th album The New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh, the follow up to 2008’s 4th World War.
Erykah’s previous albums have all been critically acclaimed with many comparing the singer to fellow jazz great Billie Holiday. Erykah is known for her eclectic musical stylings and her contribution to the rise of the neo-soul genre. The multiple Grammy Award winning artist has always been at the forefront of modern jazz and hip hop.
The record opens with 20 Feet Tall and though slightly repetitious the vocals are smooth, cylindrical and pitch perfect. Window Seat is beautifully put together with its harmonious bridge and jazz cafe feel and the song is a prominent number on the album. The love theme dominates the album along with its outstanding lyrical work.
Gone Baby Don’t Be Long is slow and ambient along with harp number Incense where Umm Hmm offers a little more of a funky buoyant tone that the album needs at the half way mark.
The Dallas born diva caused controversy recently thanks to the music video of the latest single from the album, Window Seat, where she shed her clothing while walking down a road in Dallas, Texas until she was fully nude at the site where President JFK was assassinated. Never one to go unnoticed I think she gained herself the publicity and attention that was craved to help this album get off to a good start.
The album flows well throughout with the addition of a couple of minute long interludes which reminded me of similarly structured albums like Janet Jackson’s Velvet Rope and TLC’s CrazySexyCool and like these albums it proves you don’t have to be an avid aficionado of the genre to appreciate its brilliance.
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