Bode Helm
Simon Vozick-Levinson
March 26, 2010 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The first installment in Erykah Badu’s New Amerykah series, released two years ago, was an interstellar funk odyssey with room for tons of funny voices and avant-garde tangents. She stays comparatively earthbound on this follow-up, singing mostly about relationships over a set of warm, organic grooves. Some listeners will no doubt wish for more of the risks she took last time around. Ultimately, though, New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh‘s comfortable style only makes it that much easier to get pleasantly lost in. A?

Download These:
Yearning, piano-led Window Seat at lala.com
Playfully syncopated Gone Baby, Don’t Be Long at amazon.com

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