Mama's Gun - Erykah Badu
Mama's Gun Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 29 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. She scores over and over on 14-tracks-in-72-minutes that miss maybe twice and only seem long-winded when she gives the flautist some.
  2. The production, lyrics, and hooks make this an impressive sophomore effort from Ms. Badu.
  3. 80
    Beyond Badu's self-appointed role as a teacher, what she does best is create really good music.... It should come as no surprise that Mama's Gun's organic feel comes from the team that helped produce D'Angelo's Voodoo. However, the most important sound of all is her unmistakable voice, making all of her songs like ornately crafted gems - even the unintelligible ones.
  4. But what makes Badu a source of deep pride for her black audience (and intriguing puzzlement for her ever-growing white one) is that her mysticism produces its most compelling poetry when set against gritty realities such as drug-dealing boyfriends, jealous neighbors, ghetto etiquette, and the constant war on poverty. As a songwriter, Badu's particular gift is being able to work such everyday touchstones into sublime allusions of spiritual rebirth.
  5. 70
    Mama's Gun wisely doesn't stray too far from the free-flowing R&B of Baduizm: Almost every track here is slinky, scat-influenced soul with rich female backing voices, seeded with the occasional string section, trumpet, or sample (most notably Dr. Dre's "Xxplosive"). Lyrically, most of Mama's Gun rings true, with "Bag Lady," the somewhat draggy first single on which Badu dispenses soulful advice to a homeless woman, as the sole exception.
  6. Mama's Gun is the female companion to D'Angelo's ''Voodoo,'' with which it shares a reactionary pseudo- sophistication that too often substitutes good taste for good tunes. It's soul music for people who -- wrongly -- think rap is dumb and contemporary R&B is simplistic. Unlike D'Angelo, however, Badu has a nuanced voice that pokes through the bland surfaces; sometimes she manages moments worthy of her forebears, as on the slinky ''Bag Lady'' and the syncopated ''Booty.''
  7. 60
    Her sinuous, Lady Dayish voice sets her apart. Unfortunately, it's not to be heard in full effect until about a third of the way through Mama's Gun... [Jan 2001, p.104]

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Vernisha
    Feb 25, 2003
    This album is the absolute BEST! It helped me through a tramatic breakup and helped me loved myself all over again. I listen to her every night and always find something new, different, and inspiring in the songs. Expand
  2. CynthiaC.
    Jul 17, 2001
    I thought this album was a masterpiece. People have a tendency to downrate something they don't understand, and I think that's why some may not have liked it. I love this album because it is not just music, but has message behind it, a positive message. Along with the message is soulful art that can only come from someone that loves music, life, and people. Someone that not only wants to make music and enjoy life, but also make a difference in the process. Expand
  3. NishaG
    Jan 12, 2004
    from the moment i listened to mamas gun in virgin on the headphones,i knew what treat i was in for at i bought it.every song is like a poem,its unreal.no1 in ireland even knows who she is,its a shame.shes amazing.i listen to it every nite,and orange moon is my absolute favourite. Expand
  4. MonicaC
    Jul 26, 2004
    This is a timeless, timeless masterpiece.
  5. Oct 4, 2010
    I listened to this album more than any other during the 00's
  6. BrandiC.
    Nov 28, 2008
    This albumis a classic.
  7. Dec 12, 2011
    A freaking genius album that put Erykah on the map for me, and to this day remains a default go to record when I can't decide what to listen to, because I can listen to it in nearly any circumstance or mood. She hits political without getting preachy, and emotional without losing the sexy. Collapse

See all 17 User Reviews