New Amerykah is unorthodox, unconventional, and may take a while to grow on an audience that feasts on a steady diet of pop culture. However, in an era of disposable music, this one will stand the test of time.
With all the talk about the decline in the quality of Hip Hop music, R&B is often left out of the equation. The truth is that R&B music has gone much the same way of Hip Hop, soulful grooves replaced with bass heavy, club friendly tracks. While much of the commercial mainstream prefers to cater to the 106 & Park generation, there is a sliver of major label artists that still infuse their releases with some good old heart and soul.
For more than a decade, Erykah Badu has kept the soul in R&B. She taught us how to go "On and On", waxed poetically about the next life time and gave women everywhere an anthem in "Tyrone". This year, she returns with her third studio effort, New Amerykah.
Her latest effort finds Ms. Badu exploring a variety of musical styles the end result being a cohesive album that comes off as a cross between a coffee house poetry session and a smoky bar band jamming into the late hours. Amerykah's lead single, the 9th Wonder produced "Honey" is oddly left off the initial track listing and is served up as a bonus track.