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New Amerykah Part Two: Return Of The Ankh

4.6 out of 5 stars 138 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 30, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

2010 release, the fifth studio album from the R&B/Neo-Soul superstar. In contrast to New Amerykah Part One (4th World War), which was digitally produced and political in tone, New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh features lush live instrumentation and taps into Badu's emotional side by thematically focusing on romance and relationships. "We used a lot of analog instruments...harps, strings, drums, piano, and even a Theremin, to give the album that sonic feel," says Badu. "There's a strong undercurrent of bottom, a rumbling to these songs that feels good to me. It feels like a hug."
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 30, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Motown Records
  • ASIN: B003597ORA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,033 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Where Erykah Badu's last album "New Amerykah part 1..." was a more political and experimental psychedelic affair that had many puzzled (but I thought was a masterpiece), her new CD is more conventional, lush and soulful with live instrumentation and cerebral lyrics about love and life.

"20 feet tall" is a stirring string/piano ballad (ending with cheering sounds of children) and the soothing "Window seat" is midtempo with skeletal groovy bass (belying it's now infamous video). "Agitation" is a brief free flowing joint, "Turn me away (Get munny)" funky and midtempo, "Gone baby, don't be long" an ethereal sounding groovy song with splashings of electric guitar.

The songs have a retro seventies soul feel with nothing truly uptempo, especially a song like "Umm hmm". "Love" has a choppy groovy feel while "You loving me (Session)" is a fun-filled interlude. The groovy "Fall in love (Your funeral)" finds her warning some unlucky chap that "you don't wanna fall in love with me".

The delicate "Incense" is acoustic with electronic flourishes and hushed harmonies and features Kirsten Agnesta, and closing is the 10 minute epic "Out my mind, just in time" which starts off a Jazzy piano-driven ballad with haunting strings, meandering through various trippy tempo and mood shifts similar to "Green eyes" from "Mama's gun".

This just may be her most commercial effort since her debut "Baduizm", but still with enough kookiness to set it aside from everything else out there. Amazing!
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Format: Audio CD
I really love the live instrumentation.This album has a "mama's gun" feel. Its really diff from Pt 1. But still better than most of the garbage thats out today. Badu is my generations Nina, or Roberta. She is Fab a true original an artist that is her own woman.
Fav tracks include :
Window seat, Agitation, Umm humm, Out of my mind (epic 10 mins long!)
20 feet tall....I mean everthing.lol. amazing, fabulous, all around great album!!
Pt 1 is incredible to me too. This album is more organic. The other album was entirely produced digitally.
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Format: Audio CD
I purchased the online download and stayed up until 3am EST so that I could download it as soon as it was available. I ended up staying up longer to hear the entire album and listening to this woman is like taking a voyage in your mind. The beats keep your head noding and hips rocking. Erykah has a certain unique-ness and I feel fortunate to have an entertainer of her stature alive in my generation. If she comes to a city near you buy a ticket to her show trust you wont be disappointed I saw her in Atlanta this past fall - AWESOME show. I have listened to her since her first album Baduizm and every album since then and I will continue to listen for my lifetime.
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Format: Audio CD
With New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh, Erykah Badu "backpedals" (not in a bad context) to the more accessible material from say her Grammy-winning, critically acclaimed Baduizm - Special Edition. No, she hasn't compromised the "weirdness" that she has always possessed that sets her apart from her contemporaries, but she doesn't go on the same tangent that she went on New Amerykah, Pt. 1: 4th World War. Personally, I thought that the first installment of New Amerykah was one of 2008's best albums, but many found it too weird and uncommercial to appreciate. Even when it came time for Grammy nominations, only did "Honey" manage a scant nomination (I believe it won) for short-form video. On this go-round, Erykah reaches out more to a slightly more mainstream audience, but no so much so that she compromises her artistry. This album wouldn't bow without controversy, following her infamous "Window Seat" video. I won't trivialize the controversy here; I'm simply here to review this excellent effort from Badu.

The album opens up left of center, typical of Badu, but more accessible than the "Amerykhan Promise" that opened up New Amerykah One. Here on "20 Feet Tall," the production is very minimalist and the lyrics repetitive, but the number turns out to be extraordinarily enjoyable and even catchy. I'm sure Badu wasn't going for Top 40 radio with "20 Feet Tall," but it is certainly catchier than anything from New Amerykah Part I.
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Format: Audio CD
Erykah Badu has been known to have her feet firmly planted on the ground and her head somewhere in another dimension. Even when some of her songs make me scratch my head and wonder "what the....?!" I still enjoy them for the most part. The first installment of her New Amerykah series found the singer at her most aggressive and politically charged taking on social issues like inner city crime, poverty, and racism with jams like Soldier and That Hump. Return of the Ankh, the next installment, trades in Badu's razor sharp philosophy on what's going on in the world for softer topics like love and matters of the heart. Erykah has been quite open about love on her earlier albums, but she digs deeper and allows herself to be even more vulnerable on this one.

The album opens with the too short 20 Feet Tall. Accompanied by a rocking chair and a mystical beat, she wonders why her lover has closed himself off from her. "My love what did I do?/to make you fall so far from me?.... Then you/you built a wall/a 20 foot wall so I couldnt see." Erykah wishes to escape from the daily pressures from her "music, lover, and my babies" and get "a ticket outta town/A look around/and a safe touch down" on the laidback Window Seat. I don't know about you, but there have been many moments where escapism has tempted me from facing the oftentimes stressful moments in life. But you still want someone who needs you back home to tell you to "come back, come back, baby, come back!"

Turn Me Away (Get MuNNY) could best be described as a gold digger's anthem. Using a soft, girly voice with a hopscotch sounding rhythm, Badu uses her charm to swindle a guy out of his money. She promises to "cook like your mother" and "be your best friend", but confesses "I'm your predator, hey/Cuz Munny I want you bad!
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This album came out of nowhere.
I am currently listening to New Amerykah: Part 2 which I bought from a music store in College Park -- NOT a bootleg copy! This CD is fantastic! For all of us Erykah Badu fans who've been waiting for her to return to her style of music, she delivers on this CD! I own all of her studio CDs as... Read More
Mar 27, 2010 by R. S. Hill |  See all 11 posts
she's being charged with disorderly conduct for Window Seat video Be the first to reply
how this new cd erykah released Be the first to reply
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New Amerykah Part Two: Return Of The Ankh
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