March 31, 2010

V4YS Ep/Album Review - Erykah Badu - New Amerykah Part Two - Return Of The Ankh

Here is another highly expected album!

Fith Lp of Nu-Soul leading artist Erykah Badu, New Amerikah Part Two - Return Of The Ankh shies away from her recent experimental forays ("Worldwide Underground" and "New Amerykah Part One") to bring us back to the beginning of her career.
So to sum it up : this is what we could dare calling a "classic Badu" production that will thus probably delight those who fell in love with the deep and pure nu-soul sound of her first two albums, "Baduizm" and "Mama's Gun".

Similarly to these two records (that are without a doubt two of the best nu-soul albums ever), "New Amerikah Part Two" is a 50mn-long journey where tracks boundaries can easily be forgotten when you listen to the whole disc in a row. Like in these two records, lyrics are rather intimate, dealing with romance which comes in stark contrast with the more politically-engaged tone of her previous album, "New Amerykah Part One".

Erikah's distinctive voice and amazingly addictive slow singing tempo seem to never change from one song to the next which contributes to transport you in her warm and soulful world. Even the wide range of high-profile producers that contributed to the album (9th wonder, James Posier from The Roots, ?uestlove, Shafiq Husayn, Madlib, Karriem Riggins....) managed to each create musical atmospheres that fuse entirely in each other.

Still, if we want to highlight some of the tracks out of this ensemble we would obviously have to mention the fantastic single "Window Seat" that we had already tipped on the blog last month. The video of this song (see below) will for sure drag a lot of various reactions. Erikah's undressing herself in her hometown of Dallas at the very same place where Jfk passed away is for sure a source of chatter!

I'll also underline "Turn Me Away" that is a fresh sampling of one of my favorite 80's soul song, "You Can't Turn Me Away" from Sylvia Stripplin (though to me Erikah's song is not as good as the original), or the groovy track "Fall In Love" with music from the regretted J Dilla.

So overall Erykah Badu delivers a very good nu-soul album, contrary to the other female legend of the nu-soul scene, Sade (who sadly released another disappointing return Lp earlier this year), Erykah demonstrates by the quality and diversity of her producing and artistic choices that she remains at the forefront of this musical universe.

Below a youtube link to the surprising video of "Window Seat" and a deezer player of my 2 other favorite tracks from the album along with the original track from Sylvia Stripplin "You Can't Turn Me Away"

Découvrez la playlist Erykah avec Erykah Badu

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