Erykah Badu – Baduizm
1997 – Kedar
How have I not written about this one yet! Badu consistently puts out great albums, “Baduizm” included. I didn’t realize until doing a bit of research that this album was her first. It would be an accomplishment to put this out at the end of a long career, but to hit it on your first release is something special. Badu uses her voice as an instrument. If you took her lines and replaced them (with the same intonation and feel) with a saxophone, this would still be a completely engrossing album. She pushes and pulls the beat, dancing around it, but never losing it. She clearly spent a lot of time working on her craft, finding her sound. Seeing her live, she creates arrangements on the spot, conducting the band to stop and start. I am in no way qualified to comment on the lyrics, but there is a lot of great stuff going on there too. Musically, I really love the sparseness of the instruments and their feel. The vinyl I have doesn’t include all the tracks from the CD release, which is disappointing because one of the missing tracks has Ron Carter on bass. It’s fine though, because the tracks that made it to the LP are awesome. I’m going to have to expand my Badu vinyl collection so I can write about her again. In the meantime, listen to as much of her stuff as you can!