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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Badu returns with Ankh

    The ankh. The Egyptian symbol representing eternal life. Erykah Badu. The Dallas-born singer symbolized by her trademark head wraps, hairstyles, free spiritedness and unique jazzy soul-styled singing. Music has been said to live on, even beyond the life of its creator. Badu returns with her Ankh of choice: more soulful music.

    The Grammy Award winner is back with a new album, New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh. But not without a little controversy.

    Recently, Badu was charged with disorderly conduct stemming from her music video for the song “”Window Seat.”” In the video, Badu walks along the streets of Dallas, Texas, removing pieces of her clothing one by one until she reaches the site where the late President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. By then, she is completely naked, hence the reported outrage. Badu reportedly refers to her video as art and juxtaposes her actions in the video with the symbolism of character assassination.

    Call it good timing if you want, but weeks after the video release, her new album was due. And luckily, the album is better than her last release, New Amerykah, Pt. 1: 4th World War, which was a hodgepodge of wandering tracks.

    Return of the Ankh, on the other hand, could be called “”Return-of-the-Sounds-on-Erykah’s-third-album-Mama’s Gun.”” Badu’s songs, lyrics and production are scaled down to an earthy, less processed level as she did in the past. For example, the staccato, start-and-stop funk in the song “”Agitation”” is quite similar to a blend of both “”Booty”” and “”Kiss Me On My Neck”” from Mama’s Gun.

    The album lacks innovation, but certain songs wholly make up for that in their content. “”Window Seat”” is true Badu style, as she sings the sensitive, poignant lyrics in an introverted, shy style to a simple beat. The most enjoyable track on Ankh is the smooth “”Gone Baby, Don’t Be Long.”” The track is set to a revolving bass loop in which Badu understands her love (or lust) interest has to go “”and get (his) hustle on.”” But at the end of the day, she urges that he comes back home to her.

    Badu doesn’t disappoint as she succeeds in creating an album that stirs various emotions. Hopefully, she can continue that trend when she returns with another new piece of work.

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