April 20, 2011

Music Is... Erykah Badu: Baduizm

Any sort of controversy 11, or 12 years afterward put aside, this album is golden to the fullest extent possible. Though a 1997 release, this is truly timeless. Something so creative, that it doesn't just compete with today's artists, but stands as concrete work period. Erykah has undoubtedly solidified herself as a neo-soul/R&B/hip hop...no, forget that. Ms. Badu has marked herself as simply a musical genius. Through creative jazz inspired beats, she speaks about everyday happenings and turns them into an engaging story. I love the way she pronounces the individual syllables for each word of the lyrics. Anyone can sing and sing well. However, that it factor is needed to convey the thoughts and have the listener genuinely feel it. I don't think anybody will be able to fully describe in one sentence what the it is, but when it comes to good stuff one sentence doesn't cut it.

Every track has an underlying subtlety that makes for easy listening with no friction. No song clashes with the next unnecessarily. The beats are so mellow that you can't help but head nod and bob to each one. Take the well known "On And On". Referencing what I mentioned earlier this is a prime example (for me) of that syllable bouncing. "Oh what a day What a day what a day", we can all relate to that. Familiar intro, yes. Makes you want "a cup of tea". Other tracks like "Appletree and "Rimshot(intro)" just keep the ball rollingin the right direction.

For a debut album, this sounds like she's been hit making for years on end. Anyone that has somehow manged let this one slip through their fingers, wipe the butter off immediately because it's worth catching and holding onto.

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