Sultry Erykah Badu enchants 4th and B

    t is refreshing to see artists who are so amazing at what they do and stick to what they are good at. Erykah Badu’s newest album, Worldwide Underground, released last September, keeps to her traditional style but pushes the limits of her talents and experiments with musical and vocal improvisation.

    Courtesy of http://www.stud.hio.no
    Guardian

    For those of you unfamiliar with the work of Badu, she is known for her beautiful, soulful voice, distinct vocal style and poetic lyrics. She is an activist, as she proved at the Jan. 31 Hip-Hop Summit at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas. She spoke to the youth and said, “”Everything you do that does not conform to the system that is trying to program you is a political statement.”” Badu strongly believes in using one’s actions wisely and in positive, community-improving ways.

    On Worldwide Underground, Badu collaborates with great musicians and vocalists such as Roy Hargrove, Angie Stone and Bahamadia. The songs are mostly pleasant and enjoyable. The song “”Mama’s Gun”” is a low point of the album, but with the track “”Worldwide Underground”” Badu is undeniably at the top of her game. The album has an incredibly jazzy feel, too, with a few tracks bumping her more popular and well known R&B feel.

    To distinguish the finest tracks on Badu’s new album is a difficult task. The songs “”Think Twice”” and “”Love of my Life Worldwide”” most definitely stand out. On “”Think Twice,”” Roy Hargrove explodes with his jazz talent on the trumpet, while Angie Stone and Bahamadia shine on “”Love of My Worldwide.”” The album fits together perfectly, starting out mellow and smooth, climbing to a deep movable beat and smoothing out again with the concluding songs. It is perfect for just relaxing ó or you can lay it down for mood music.

    Lyrically, the album is stunning ó but what can really hook a listener is the way it sounds. The beats, vocals, composition, melodies ó everything is very well done. The only faults are found on a few tracks, like the introductory songs, which get very repetitive in the lyrics, but it still sounds enchanting.

    San Diego is about to get a taste of Badu’s singular sound when she comes to 4th and B on Feb. 12. Badu’s performance promises to combine the best songs off of Worldwide Underground (although her guest artists are not scheduled to appear) along with her past hits. Floetry, a two-woman R&B/spoken-word group, is performing with her, which should give the show a great lyrical combo, and if we are lucky they will collaborate on something. For more information, call (619) 231-4343.

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