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New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) CD

26 customer reviews

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Music

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Photos

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Biography

She grew up listening to '70s soul and '80s hip-hop, but Erykah Badu drew more comparisons to Billie

Holiday upon her breakout in 1997, after the release of her first album, Baduizm. The grooves and production on the album are bass-heavy R&B, but Badu's languorous, occasionally tortured vocals and delicate phrasing immediately removed her from the legion of cookie-cutter ... Read more in Amazon's Erykah Badu Store

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Frequently Bought Together

New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) + New Amerykah Part One + Baduizm
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Product details

  • Audio CD (29 Mar. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Universal / Island
  • ASIN: B003597ORA
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,697 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. 20 Feet Tall (Album Version) 3:24£0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Window Seat 4:49£0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Agitation (Album Version) 1:33£0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Get MuNNY (Album Version) 5:26£0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Gone Baby, Don't Be Long (Album Version) 4:39£0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Umm Hmm (Album Version) 3:46£0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Love (Album Version) 6:01£0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. You Loving Me (Session) 1:04£0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Fall In Love (Your Funeral) 6:06£0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Incense (Album Version) [feat. Kirsten Agresta] 3:26£0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Out My Mind, Just In Time (Album Version)10:21Album Only

Product Description

CD Description

New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) is Erykah Badu's  follow-up to her critically acclaimed 2008 release, New Amerykah, Part I: 4th World War. In contrast to the first effort, which was digitally produced and political in tone, New Amerykah Part II (Return of the Ankh) features live instrumentation and taps into Badu’s emotional side by thematically focusing on romance and relationships. The album features contributions from some key underground producers and engineers in the hip-hop game, including Grammy winners 9th Wonder and James Poyser, eclectic soul singer Bilal, and the late J Dilla.

BBC Review

Erykah Badu herself has explained that if Return of the Ankh and its predecessor, 2008’s sublime New Amerykah: Part One (Fourth World War), were two halves of a human brain, then this sequel would be the right-hand side, the emotional half. It’s an analogy that holds water: Return of the Ankh is a more meditative, less-explicitly-political set, eschewing the harder-edged future-funk of Fourth World War tracks like The Cell and Twinkle.

Return of the Ankh isn’t, as some have mistakenly surmised, a return to the ersatz jazz of her 1997 debut, Baduizm. There are nods throughout to her back-catalogue: Gone Baby, Don’t Be Long quotes the “I know you got to get your hustle on” hook from Baduizm’s Otherside of the Game; closer Out My Mind, Just in Time is a 10-minute epic in three movements, like Green Eyes, which closed 2000’s Mama’s Gun. But while, stylistically, the album favours the deft, the dulcet, and the down-tempo, its soulful, jazzy upholstery still harbours a powerful emotional bite.

Greeting-card clichés of romance are absent, in their place a sense of love as a force with the power to make or break a soul: when, on the bewitching Window Seat, Badu sings “I need you to want me,” it is with such earnest, desperate yearning you’ll be struck dumb. On opener 20 Feet Tall, meanwhile, the shock of a break-up erases Badu’s sense of self, of her own strength, a theme revisited at length on the album’s final track. This agony is balanced by a similarly-affecting sense of ecstasy, conjured by the harp-etched reveries of Strawberry Incense, the erotic mischief of the Dilla-produced Love.

Badu sings of love with a reverence and poignancy that brings to mind previous masters of this form, like Marvin Gaye (whose lissom, feather-light melodies she evokes with ease) and Stevie Wonder (whose Songs in the Key Of Life essayed human existence with an ambition and sensitivity matched only by both chapters of New Amerykah). She is, by no means, ‘retro’ in her art; it’s just been a long time since anyone sang soul music as passionately, wittily and inventively as she does here. --Stevie Chick

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. A. BAKER on 22 Oct. 2011
Format: Audio CD
This is the most amazing album i've ever listened to. Erykah Badu is incredible, her lyrics and music are multi layered, full of sparkling deep dark soul, universal love and natural earthly love. Some tracks sound like ancient truth teachings, with others that you can dance to or just listen to the evolutionary poetry, far ahead of its time, infused with magical humour, science, dreams and goddess-like imagination and vision. I might have smoked something. This album is full of surprises, so buy two copies and keep one.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ian Shine VINE VOICE on 3 April 2010
Format: Audio CD
After the change of direction of New Amerykah Part I, Erykah Badu returns to more familiar territory with Part II, going more down tempo and hitting more of the neo-soul sound that she forged.
"Window Seat" and "Gone Baby, Don't Be Long" are some of the more immediate highlights, bringing to the fore the loops and grooves that define the album's sound, similar to how was seen on her 2003 album "Worldwide Underground".
Much like with that record there is more live instrumentation, a freer feel to the record (unlike New Amerykah Part I). The difference in art work for the two New Amerykah album covers serves as the best way to appreciate the sonic differences between the two.
Lyrically the album is more along traditional Badu lines too, focussing on romance, love and relationships, rather than taking the more political line heard on New Amerykah Part I.
Badu has said the album is "the sister of the left side of my brain - it is the right side. Part I was the left side of my thoughts - it was more socially political and my thought process was more analytical. This time there wasn't anything to be concerned with - the album is more emotional and flowy and talks about feelings. It reminds of the days of 'Baduizm'."
When the album hits its groove it is as good as any classic Badu tracks, but there are a few tracks that deviate a little from the albums feel and, stop the album being a five star record. "Agitation" is a good track, piano laden, but it just sits a little off for me. Ditto the following track, a cover of Sylvia Striplin's "You Can't Turn Me Away", which gets a little more tedious with every listen.
This is intelligent R&B, but the flowing feel that the album goes for is broken by a couple of rogue tracks that stop it developing the seamless feel of her earlier records and fellow soul legend Marvin Gaye.
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Format: Audio CD
Following on from her near perfect neo soul release "Baduizm", Erykah Badu has been much more experimental, delving into hip-hop, funk and rock. This has led to some of her music being occasionally erratic, nonsensical and lacking in melody. Her fifth release "New Amerykah Part 2: Return Of The Ankh" is mainly very soulful and contains just a hint of experimental sounds. On the whole, this album is good and only contains a few mediocre tracks.

"20 Feet Tall" has an interesting heavy bass, but its melody does not seem to go anywhere and the song sounds a little monotonous as a result. "Window Seat" is a very good slice of soul and funk, and is reminiscent of "Didn't Cha Know" from her second album "Mama's Gun". "Turn Me Away" has a very appealing groovy vibe, the vocals and melody reminding me a little bit of Macy Gray. "Gone Baby, Don't Be Long" is nicely repetitive as it flows perfectly, having a cool rythym, but "Umm Hmm" is a bit too bland. "Love" has a great bass and is very addictive and "Fall In Love" is another groovy song. On the experimental side, the two interludes "Agitation" and "You Loving Me" are very jazzy and "Incense" is a dreamy and mainly instrumental track with harp and weird sounds and voices. The final track "Out My Mind, Just In Time" is a 10 minute long jazzy affair with a quiet piano and vocal introduction and then a change in direction from 2 minutes onwards. All of these tracks work and make the album more interesting.

Most of this album is reminiscent of her first two albums which is a really good thing. However, it does not quite live up to them. But it is a good return to form and a much better effort than her previous album "New Amerykah Part 1: 4th World War".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. J. J. Saifurrahman on 4 April 2010
Format: Audio CD
Loving this album. Standout tracks are Window Seat, Love and Incense. If I was to fault this album it would be on the running duration- At just over 50 mins. Erykah Badu is an amazing artist. I guess a lot of her appeal lies in her cryptic nature. I love the fact that her work has depth to it. Go Ms Badu!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Erykah Badu is a rare artist, not only because of her unique sound, but for the "love-it-or-hate-it" way she sounds for the world. If you like black music, this is your CD - Badu has a groovy shaky beat, with provocative lyrics and some spice on her voice! But, if you're not that into the rhythm, you may dislike completely the album - she is kinda crazy, the lyrics talk about the spacial stuff, and try to promote a peaceful world with the help of the old Egyptians gods! So I recommend this album for those who enjoy the sound of black music, not to inexperienced ones.
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By Jd Green on 26 May 2010
Format: MP3 Download
I was really looking forward to this album and it does not disappoint. It continues to the explore the musical themes from New Amerykah Part One to create a more "love" based album. However, there are still some amazing political messages the key one being about female empowerment.

It will take a few listens to really get into, and some of the tracks do sound very low tempo seventies funk, it isn't her first album which is still mindblowing to listen to today, but nevertheless I enjoy New Amerykah Part Two.
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