I was driving down East Washington in Madison on a clear night with the windows down, the speakers cranked up, and Erykah Badu spilling out my van. It was a monumental high. I had just grubbed at Wingstop, which is delicious, and was feeling good. Erykah Badu's music does that for me though, it intensifies my emotions and makes everything larger than life. Songs like “Honey,” “On & On,” “No Love,” and “Next Lifetime” make me feel what Miss Badu was feeling when she made that particular song. Her first album Baduizm is especially awesome.
The album starts off with “Rim Shot (Intro)” and this amazing bass line that slowly gets incorporated into the entire song and sits behind Erykah’s vocals. The song is a nice introduction not only to Miss Badu, but the type of music that will be on this album. “On & On” is next and is one of the better songs on the album. The kickand bass on this album just blend so well, that aside this track is awesome. Miss Badu’s vocals are magic, I can’t even tell you why I love them so much, I just know I do. “Appletree” is the third track and Erykah has magnificent little vocal touches throughout this entire song. I think I have to state again how well mixed this album is. The keys are perfectly tucked in and present, while the bass is perfectly brought out and accentuated. The drums sound magnificent with the perfect amount of attack and crispness. When horns are brought in on “Other Side Of The Game” they just emphasize the songs so well while also sounding perfect. On “Other Side Of The Game” Badu is talking about being with a drug dealer with whom she is getting what she wants, even if she is unsure about how it will turn out.
“Next Lifetime” is an extremely emotional fare about a man who tells Badu that he has feelings for her even though she already has a man. So she sings about how she will see him in their next lifetimes, hence the name. “Certainly” uses a piano to maximum effect, with this line in the beginning then chords throughout. The bass is also going to town in this song, overall this song is really playful and Badu captures that emotion. “4 Leaf Clover” keeps the hits rolling with more amazing vocals from Badu and continued excellence from the bass and kick. “No Love" is a personal favorite, I love the drums and the bass is superb, the keys as well are outstanding. Miss Badu as ever is outstanding and in full control of the song. “Drama” is a slower song and is so smooth, the keys and the bass rock on this track. “Sometimes” is another great song, so is “Certainly (Flipped It).” “Rim Shot (Outro)” is an expansion upon the intro, nonetheless it still sounds great.
The sound of this album is so good, the bass on this album is the best. The bass is smooth and powerful while also retaining its low end favoring sound while playing higher notes. The kick on this album sounds really good as well with a lot of punch and crispness. The snare is a little too piercing for me personally, but then again it makes it pop in the songs. Keys, piano. horns, and the like sound natural while also having large amounts of reverb and delay on them. Again Miss Badu’s Vocals are outstanding, they fit right on top of the song without overpowering it.
Lastly, I just want to say that I love this album and it took me a little bit to appreciate all of it. So if at first you don’t like it maybe just set it down and wait a few weeks or months and come back to it. I can promise that you will start to crave it after a while.
by Addison Garry (@addisonagarry)