The Best Albums of 2010

7.  Erykah Badu: New Amerykah Part II (New Ankh) [Motown (Kedar)]

By now you’ve either heard or seen the video for the first single off of New Amerykah Part Two entitled “Window Seat.”  If you haven’t, I highly suggest that you do; you can find it here.  Either way, the video is pretty interesting to say the least as it re-creates the JFK assassination, except that Badu is depicted as the victim…. oh and she’s naked.  Not surprisingly, Badu has become of the target of derision, which is unfortunate because the song, and the album are both very good.  As the “Queen of Neo-Soul” Badu takes a different approach on the follow up to New Amerykah Part One, this time laying heavy on the grooves, and moving away from the more experimental vibe.  Part Two really succeeds as an R & B album because it is a reminder of what one can achieve with talent and vision.  In a world of popular music where just about every album has some blockbuster track with a guest appearance, and the album is produced by the same folks, Badu stands with very few in her pursuit of individualism.  I don’t listen to a lot of R & B that has been made in the last decade but I’m a sucker for the classics.  With this new release, Badu manages to pay homage to the great sounds of the 70′s with references big and small.  At the same time, Part Two is laced with all sorts of electronics, break beats and samples which keep the album current.  Indeed, a rare feat.

Prime Cuts: Window Seat, Turn Me Away (Get MuNNY), Umm Hmm

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