ACL Fest Saturday Reviews

ACL Fest Saturday Reviews

Erykah Badu

New Amerykah Part One: 4th World War (Motown)

The only thing resembling a pop single on Erykah Badu's latest opus is an afterthought tacked on as a hidden track. "Honey" is sweet and tasty, but Badu's brave New Amerykah is a liberated land, a wild embrace of experimentation, and a gleeful if occasionally paranoid freak-fest. A supercharged futuristic funk groove kicks things off like a lost P-Funk outtake, and if Funkadelic made albums today, it's easy to imagine them sounding like this (even the cover art raises a fist to Maggot Brain). Two songs unlike anything in contemporary music anchor the set: "My People" is a dense forest of swirling sounds and intoxicating chants as ahead of its time as the 1972 Eddie Kendricks anthem it resurrects, while Badu hums the names of deities in a meditative mantra on "The Healer" before boldly proclaiming hip-hop bigger than religion. In Badu's Amerykah, we all pray to the same beat. (4:30pm, AT&T stage.)


More Erykah Badu
What Goes Around ... Comes Around
George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic, the Robert Glasper Experiment, Erykah Badu
Final SXSW Live Shots

Thomas Fawcett, March 22, 2013

Texas Platters
Erykah Badu
New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh (Record Review)

Thomas Fawcett, April 30, 2010

More by Thomas Fawcett
Texas Platters
The Echocentrics
Echo Hotel (Record Review)

June 24, 2016

My Little Red Book
Kill 'Em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul
"A man who carries the troubled history of an entire people on his back and a 24-piece band and three radio stations to boot cannot find peace"

June 17, 2016


Erykah Badu

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