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"New Amerykah Part Two" dropped as the fifth album for Erykah Badu in 2010. The Neo-Soul singer follows-up an album from a couple of years before it with fresh material where she works from unreleased J Dilla beats, in addition to fresh things from ?uestlove, Sa-Ra and 9th Wonder to bring more of the R&B/Jazz/Funk/Hip Hop fusion work.
1. "20 Feet Tall"
The album is set off in a very big way as we find that the Texan comes to bring a soulful tune and one that eases you in through the warming nature of her voice and all the instrumentals which back her up. 9th Wonder (formerly of the North Carolina Hip Hop crew Little Brother) is behind the production here and comes with something soft to let things steadily fall inot place as Badu sings as if sh's on top of the world.
2. "Window Seat"
This was the lead single to the album and a tune that seemed to stand out on the release as a reult. Known to a large degree for its controversial video primarily, what you get in the music deserves just as much attention as we're given another inviting piece where she pulls out lots of jazzy sounds and connects them with all the typical Soul that she's been known for over the years to a very nice effect.
3. "Agitation" (Lude)
4. "Turn Me Away"
After we get a short blast of something with an eighties-styled twist, Badu takes us away with a track that interpolates the sample used for the backing to Junior M.A.F.I.A's "Get Money" and so as a result is bound to pull in the Hip Hop crowds. The tune goes hard and sits as one of the best on the album as we get an intense Funk track where she sings relentlessly about her strive for getting to the money.
5. "Gone Baby, Don't Be Long"
The quality of the music stays at its very high standard through into this tune as we find that she chooses to come out with a bumping tune alongside Ta'Raach as joint-composers of the recording. Its lyrics are repetitive and so mean that it comes across as very memorable within the album. It has the same earthy feel that most of her tune posses and so really appealed to my tastes and what the artists is about.
6. "Umm Hmm"
For this one Badu links right up with Madlib on the beats and together they do one that has a Hip Hop edge to it whilst still staying mainly to the Soul direction that's been seen to make for some of the best results in the music that she's made over the years since her classic "Baduizm" debut back in 1997. Her vocals are sharp and pull out all of what the song has to offer along the way to make for a big tune.
A track with a very simple title, this one has Erykah Badu working from unreleased material that the late Slum Village member J Dilla produced before his 2006 death. It finds that Badu comes to the point where she thinks that she's able to tackle a subject that has so much depth to it that she wouldn't have tried it until she finally felt that she truly knew what it was and what its about. It offers a lot within the record and is one to look out for.
8. "You Loving Me" (Lude)
9. "Fall In Love"
We get off a short tune which Erykah Badu was fully behind into a track that has her taking on a classy Eddie Kendricks sample and from there explaining what exactly it's like to fall in love. She sings with power in her voice to ensure that you truly get all of what this emotive song has to bring. There's not much holding this one back at all and so it seems as though a lot of people would be drawn towards it.
10. "Incense" (Lude)
11. "Out My Mind, Just In Time"
We come off a track that's largely instrumental into a long outro. Lasting over ten minutes, it sees that Badu slowly brings things to a close with this piano-led tune where she takes things back towards the throwback sounds which made her first two albums feel so fresh as she took on retro trends. I have to say that I preferred earlier attempts than this and so it didn't go as well as it has done, but the extra elements give a modern twist to look out for (including unexpected Houston screws).
I felt that this was another strong album from an artist who doesn't appear to be capable of anything weak. The track is filled-out with powerful music as she follows-up the "New Amerykah" she initially introduced on her 2008 and tops it off with this one by kicking a few more tunes to show us why she's such an important force in the game. The mix of old and new is nothing we haven't seen before, and she has done it better in the past, but it doesn't mean that you have to take this one whilst listening to this album.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Window Seat