Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Although lacking an ear-grabbing single or a truly hummable hook, the New Amerykah Part Two does something that current R&B seemed incapable of: it charms.
  2. Erykah might have mellowed out, but the lessons from last time round have been learnt, rethought and reapplied. This is a record that confidently stands alone as brilliant, yet remains an equally perfect companion to a modern classic.
  3. She is, by no means, ‘retro’ in her art; it’s just been a long time since anyone sang soul music as passionately, wittily and inventively as she does here.
  4. Part II is an altogether more personal and laidback affair, concerned with romance and emotions.
  5. This isn’t political, but it is personal, comical, sad, satirical, intelligent and refreshingly honest.
  6. It's warm, analogue production bolstered by Madlib, ?uestlove and the inevitable J Dilla exhumation that makes it a summer smash in waiting, not least on 'Umm Hmm''s exhortation to let your feelings show.
  7. New Amerykah, Part Two: Return of the Ankh is a record full of smooth, creative, grooving (but not too grooving) songs that are exceptionally well conceived, penned, and executed.
  8. Most of the lyrics here dwell on relationships, which Badu handles with a confidence and informality that most of square-ass, tax-filing society just hasn't caught up to and probably never will.
  9. Her fifth studio release, New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh, finds the singer delivering no-holds-barred lyrics about lovemaking, love longing and, at times, love lost.
  10. Badu has refined her authorial vision on Return of the Ankh, creating one of her most vital records to date. Despite her frequent afronautic impulses, Badu succeeds in simultaneously keeping her head in the firmament and both feet planted firmly on the ground.
  11. Return of the Ankh is a relief in that Badu does not attempt to trump herself with a set that is even more intense and powerful than its predecessor.
  12. It ends with Out of My Mind Just in Time, a 10-minute closer that starts as a fairly boring ballad but gradually unravels into the tripped-out weirdness on which New Amerykah Part One was founded. You could argue that's New Amerykah Part Two in a nutshell: as with Badu herself, all is gratifyingly not as it first appeared.
  13. Badu remains a singular, refreshingly unpolished talent.
  14. The freeform Return of the Ankh is what it would sound like if 4th World War drank three whole jars of holy water. It doesn't sound one bit like her debut (as early reports indicated), but it does bear the mark of its creator having rolled through the full cipher.
  15. The spacey, meandering jams flow effortlessly, bringing to mind sunny afternoons with an old lover and a big bag of weed. No, it’s not the kind of album that’ll change the world, but it might just be the perfect summer soundtrack of the year.
  16. Badu seems so taken by hazy texture--and so determined to play the weirdo--that she's neglected to write many actual songs.
  17. With typical spots of self-indulgence, Badu whispers stoned nothings on the spacey "Incense" and offers to pop, break, and crochet for her common-law lover on 10-minute closer "Out My Mind, Just in Time."
  18. New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh's comfortable style only makes it that much easier to get pleasantly lost in.
  19. "My Love" are the first two words you hear on Erykah Badu’s beguiling new album, and they set the tone for the entire set. Unlike the politically charged mix of funk and hip-hop of New Amerykah Part One (Third World War), this chapter is a warmer, more sensuous blend of organic R&B and jazzy pop.
  20. It’s filled with spacey, leisurely songs about desire, longing, betrayal and letting go. The album plays as one long tease on the way to its last song: the 10-minute, three-part “Out My Mind, Just in Time,” which is even more protracted.
  21. With a single flutter, she exudes both confidence and insecurity. With each fragile note, she conveys experience and doe-eyed enthusiasm, optimism and loneliness, and ends up wooing us and wowing us in the process.
  22. Whether the specifics involve being needed or wanting to fly away, lusting for someone or letting go, "New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh" is a velvety, but still appealingly odd, exploration that feels more like a casual counterweight than a heady sequel.
  23. “Fall In Love” rides on a swirling, almost psychedelic Eddie Kendricks loop that connects it to Part One as confidently as much of the rest of the new material stands on its own.
  24. 80
    Through the hypnotic, J Dilla produced Love to the ghostly Incense, the short skit You Loving Me to the skittish jazz of Agitation, it's the sound of an artist in full, uncensored flow. [June 2010, p. 93]
  25. The music is breezier, more relaxed, even as it wiggles beyond the contours of traditional pop. It’s the aural equivalent of a sun-kissed afternoon swaying in a hammock, the mind and the songs drifting away on their own quirky paths.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 58 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 8
  2. Negative: 2 out of 8
  1. Nov 15, 2011
    7
    This part two can get to be even better than the first one. But, either way, just one song stands out off the bunch: 'Window Seat'. Might be this, the record for life from Erykah. Even though, she could have not put some dongd in this CD, because it sounded a little bit too long for me. Full Review »
  2. Oct 3, 2011
    8
    Sequels arenâ
  3. Urghee
    Apr 13, 2010
    10
    This is dope! And it gets better and better after each listening.