Erykah Badu

New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh (Motown)

Texas Platters

Erykah Badu

New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh (Motown)

Two years ago, Erykah Badu dropped New Amerykah Part One: 4th World War, a dense, daring, politically charged manifesto. New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh finds the quirky Dallas diva cooing about the joys and jolts of love in a throwback to her barefoot and head-wrapped beginnings. She pays homage to classic 1990s rap on the Junior Mafia-riffing "Turn Me Away (Get MuNNY)" and issues the sweetest sounding death threat in music history, quoting Biggie Smalls on "Fall in Love (Your Funeral)." The formerly analog girl is now all atwitter, a tool she used to clear a last-minute Paul McCartney sample for "Gone Baby, Don't Be Long." With typical spots of self-indulgence, Badu whispers stoned nothings on the spacey "Incense" and offers to pop, break, and crochet for her common-law lover on 10-minute closer "Out My Mind, Just in Time."

***.5

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