When a new artist sings the blues without pop-driven gimmicks, she can’t miss. Erykah Badu’s nouvelle-soul debut, Baduizm, hits the target, blows it up, reinvents it. Sweetly cooing over Ron Carter’s walking bass rhythms and the Roots’ poetic wordplay, the singer echoes Lady Day — especially in her phrasing and cadence. But her ruminative, more than rueful, blues and jazzy, esoteric hip-hop are all Badu.
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