Growth of the Eden of Neo-soul

Artist: Erykah Badu

Album: New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) (2010)

 

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 New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) album cover

 

Erykah Badu’s anticipated 5th album New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) that was released in 2010 is a succession of her 4th studio album New Amerykah Part One (4th World War). The album consists of 11 tracks and rums for 50:43 as the female vocalist takes you on a neo-soul electro journey of catharsis, love and her life.

The albums leading single “Window Seat” tells the story about group think and how society is afraid of the unfamiliar. In the controversial music video she walks on the sidewalks of Dallas as she takes off an item of clothing in public until she is nude. At the end of the video she gets shot in the head and the blue writing (symbolic of blood) leak from her head and spell “groupthink”. Thereafter there is an audio clip of her voice as she says,” They who play it safe, are quick to assassinate what they don’t understand. They move in packs, ingesting more and more fear with every act of hate on one another. They feel more comfortable in groups, less guilt to swallow. They are us. This is what we have become, afraid to respect the individual.”

The sultry sounds and the concept of Window Seat set the tone for her whole album. Therefore one would hate or love this album. The album needs to be listened to in conjunction with her previous album for a better understanding of the songs Agitation and Fall in Love (Your Funeral)  that gives the listener a lyrical journey of the birth and death of love and perhaps alluding to her love life.

Critics have suggested that the lyrical quality of her songs are somewhat ambiguous and less daring than her previous albums but the added bass funk that preludes some of her songs make up for it. Ultimately this album was made for her fans and she stays true to her neo-soul, authentic signature sound as Out My Mind Just In Time 10:21 closes off the album with a melodic vibe that encompasses what Erykah Badu is known for.

Track list:                   

  1. 20 Feet Tall
  2. Window Seat
  3. Agitation      
  4. Get MuNNY
  5. Gone Baby, Don’t Be Long
  6. Umm Hmm
  7. Love
  8. You Loving Me (Session)
  9. Fall In Love (Your Funeral)
  10. Incense
  11. Out My Mind, Just In Time

Follow Erykah Badu @fatbellybella

Review by: Natasha Khumalo 

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