Orion’s hails the return of Badu | ParkRecord.com

Orion’s hails the return of Badu

ALEX HENRY, Record contributing writer

After her last release, 2003’s "Worldwide Underground," Erykah Badu essentially vanished from the music scene, there were even rumors that she would retire from recording altogether. Thankfully that is not the case, as she proves in "New Amerykah Part One" she is still relevant and quite a talented musician with some things to get off her chest if that part one in the title is to be believed. This album, more so than her previous work, is more hip-hop oriented. That doesn’t mean that she has abandoned the jazz and lounge influences entirely — they are still present — but in "New Amerykah Part One" her hip-hop roots take center stage. The songs on this album are very clearly important to her, and it shows: The lyrics on this album are brutally honest and are sung with such passion that you will instantly understand why she cares so deeply about these things. The topics range from the war in Iraq, drug dependency, the nation of Islam all the way to the government’s failure of the Katrina disaster. It may all sound terribly depressing, but she overcomes the dark subject matter with a positive and optimistic tone. The album has its quirkiness as well. In it, she has collaborated with some of underground hip-hop’s most talented producers, like Madlib and 9th Wonder. They undeniably add a nice mixture of styles and sounds that keep the album interesting throughout. This album just goes to show that if she had actually retired, the music world would have lost one of its most interesting artists.

ORION’S TOP TEN

Top albums sold at Orion’s Music in the past week

1. Jack Johnson – Sleep Through The Static 2. Drive By Truckers – Brighter Than Creations’ Dark 3. Erykah Badu – New Amerykah 4. The Punch Brothers – Punch 5. Sheryl Crow – Detours 6. Widespread Panic – Free Somehow 7. Robert Plant/Alison Krauss – Raising Sand 8. Amy Winehouse – Back To Black 9. Lenny Kravitz – Love Revolution 10. The Avett Brothers – Emotionalism

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