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March 05, 2008



I can't wait to hear the album. The few tracks I have heard are so amazing.


I ate up Worldwide Underground and from the reviews I've read so far, this is nothing like it. So that worries me a little...But your review's making me seriously consider shelling out the 10.99


I too am having trouble saying much about this album just yet because it unfolds in a different way each time I listen to it (I've had it on repeat since last Tuesday). What I love about it is the way that Ms. Badu has created a sort of militant, post-Civil Rights blaxploitation-inspired album that still feels utterly modern in its sound and lyrical content. It's an experimental, loosely-structured album that still maintains a very clear point of view.

"Telephone" is achingly beautiful, and hopefully indicative of what's to come on Part II of the album (due out in June, Badu has said that it is the "emotional" counterpoint to Part I's political edge). Right now, "Soldier" is on repeat for me, probably because, in many ways, it's the most easily accessible track.

I spent yesterday listening to all of her albums straight through, chronologically, and I can easily say she is one of the most progressive forces in music right now.


i already love "telephone" and "me" for her duet with the trumpet

fly away, put in a word for me...


@Ian: Really? Most of Metacritic's reviews love this album, except for Rolling Stone. Then again, in my opinion, Rolling Stone's felt iffy and/or hated the majority of R&B records released in the past few years or so. I think the highest rating I've seen on a Rolling Stone review for an R&B album in the past few years (that was not a re-release) was 3.5 stars.


i've had the album since early last week, but haven't had the time to sit down and listen to it. your review only makes me that much more eager to get to it. fuckin' schedules.


I'm inclined to agree with you in the "brilliant vs. mess" deabte, and I'm not even a Badu stan. I've always tried to pay attention to what she's doing, but I don't own any of her albums

But ever since "The Healer" leaked (thanks for that, btw), I've been loving the sound of this album. In terms of the music, she's really the black Bjork, and that's the highest compliment I can give a musician.

Brandon H

I haven't heard the album yet, but thanks for the review. I'll definitely check it out.


I feel like with every E. Badu album (except the first, i ate that shit up immediately) it takes a few listens to 'click'. Glad my moment came last Wed... Been listening to it so much it's now on moratorium...

LOVE the review... LOVE u!


never listened to Badu album before this one, though i had heard of her and i remeber that roots video OK. Anyways she's certainly hitting her stride here, good album start to finish though not all songs commanded my attention. The Cell definatley the standout track. I think with sequel albums one of the sequels has to suck badly, if this is the suck then the next one will be pretty sweet.


I totally agree with AmazonRed in that each Badu album is a puzzle at first but soon the pieces just go together and it's music magic.

I love Badu and I love New Amerykah. I'm so proud I can sing the chant in the Healer ("Hamduleelah...") Her cipher will keep moving like a rolling stone.

I wonder if it can be the first Badu album to reach #1 on the charts, it's #2 right now behind Janet. She's always so close.


I live in Canada and the album just came out yesterday, I've been listening to it on loop all day and I'm just loving it more and more. The "Mad as Hell" bit from "Network"? Amazing, I never thought I'd hear that here. Telephone is amazing. And I love, love, love Honey, especially after seeing the video, it's so much fun.


Anyone who feels the need not only to "salute" a sack of shit like Farrakhan (and to insist he's not an anti-Semite, which to me makes her as bad as he is) but to actually say that in a song isn't worth the time, money, or mental effort to listen to. I'm sorry, but ignoring someone's admiration for a hateful bigot because she's put some funky beats together is ridiculous. Rick, I love your ANTM recaps and you crack me up most of the time - and your cat rules - but I have to disagree with you here.

And sure, people are allowed to have their opinions, including Ms. Badu, but so am I - and my opinion is she's a hypocrite and a traitor to her own people for admiring the idea of hatred for an entire group of people based on nothing except who they are...I assume she knows black people have been victims of the exact same thing.


i think more than anything, i love reading fourfour because you delve into my deepest need to find understanding on an intellectual level. and even though i don't know you, i can imagine you speaking these things instead of writing them. and also, you give me something to do besides pay attention during my classes.


Thank you for reviewing this album Rich. I adore it and have been curious to read what you think of it! Personally, I think it's her best. It took me a good 2 time of listening to it before I could wrap my brain around it but it was worth it. Loves it!

James Derek Dwyer

I love this album- loved Worldwide Underground too. She's a real deal.


I think it's OK. There are definitely gems (Telephone, Soldier, That Hump), but I feel like something is missing.

I understand that she's planning on releasing a few of these over the next year. As I sat listening to this, I wished that she would just release them all at once so I can absorb/understand her work as a whole. I feel like it might reveal something. Surely, she wants us to take it in in pieces. But it really does feel unfinished as is.

Someone Whose Opinion Rich Often Trusts More Than His Own

Umm... I didn't know you held my opinions in such high regards.

But anyway, after sitting with the album for awhile, it's not nearly as much of a mess as I initially thought. I still think it sounds unfinished in places though. I refuse to make any final comment on the album until 2010.


I think it's also worth mentioning that "My People" is a sort-of tribute to Dilla as well, as he used the source material for the track "People" on his final album, Donuts.


love this girl.btw, I saw this pic before on a celeb site called ‘MarryMillionaire dot com’! Is that fake or real?


If people only knew how powerful this album is!! I can't stop listening to it!


Dammit Rich! You said everything that I wanted to say about this album. My friend aren't filling it, but if they only new the awesomeness Erykah is packing into this Album! Can't wait for Part Two! Thank you again for sharing your review; I've been listening to her Album since I bought it from FYE . . . If only there was a local record store, I would've bought it from there, just for the support!



i saw this pic on a celebrities and wealthy website named "MarryMillionaire.com". a bit curious.


I absolutely agree. This is an awesome, awesome album and I too cannot stop listening to it. It's too bad there are so few artists out there who are really creating such amazing, CREATIVE work.

She is truly unique.


Hahaha!! It was all a prank on the paparazzi!! Its that new show on E! Pop Fiction. Its freakn awsome. The celebrities play pranks on the pap. What a genies idea. Paris Hiltons one was great all the pap bit right into it. Shes not religious come on people. I love this show. Heres the link you wanted.



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