Editors' pick

Erykah Badu

Rhythm and Blues

Editorial Review

Erykah Badu made up for a two-year gap between her last two albums with a controversial video for the sublime song "Window Seat" that sparked debate on the artistic merit of public nudity and the groupthink mentality. Always marching to her own internal metronome, Badu should never be counted out - not only to surprise but also to delight. Where "New Amerykah Part One" collected heavy themes, heavier beats and her trademark blues, "New Amerykah Part Two" is a return to affairs of the heart and jazzy, deceptively slick arrangements that also soothe. Since her 1997 debut, "Baduizm," Badu's oeuvre defined neo-soul and is an evolving snapshot of an artist with one foot in a b-girl stance and one hand adjusting a Billie Holiday-style flower in her hair.

--Rhome Anderson, May 2010