NEW AMERYKAH PART TWO (RETURN OF THE ANKH)
Stripping naked while walking through Dealey Plaza in Dallas (the site of JFK’s assassination) – and mimicking a shooting, no less – well, that was guaranteed to push a few buttons. And if you’ve seen Erykah Badu’s video for her new single, “Window Seat”, you might assume she’s in a confrontational mood. Certainly, her lauded 2008 disc, New Amerykah Part One (4th World War) found her playing with a tense funk sound that mirrored the anxiety of post 9/11 America. But this time around, Badu is singing about love and the emphasis is on big, warm grooves that flirt with classic soul, modern hip-hop beats and jazzy experimentation. There are some pretty fantastic songs here, melding dynamic live instrumentation and sampled elements – filtered through Badu’s unique point of view. It seems the “analog girl in a digital world” has bridged the gap again.