New Amerykah Part Three was supposed to come out in 2012, but Erykah Badu has apparently abandoned that series, which would be okay if this were her next album. Instead we waited nearly six years for a mixtape. The title comes from Tyrone and the concept is based on, meaning literally every track has to do with, phones. Why phones? That’s a good question. Why a whole mixtape about a song she made nearly two decades ago is a better one.
Telephone is one of her best songs and a portion of it is Screw Mixed here, but it just makes you want to listen to the original; the same with her version of New Edition’s Telephone Man and Drake’s Hotline Bling. That’s not to say Badu’s renditions don’t improve on them; I like her soulful quirky style; it’s just disappointing to hear so many covers. The rest of the tape sounds like demo bits from what could be another good album. I’ll Call U Back is especially groovy.
my rating : 4 of 5
This isn’t just the best song from Paul Simon’s Capeman play and companion album, it’s one of the best he’s ever made. It’s sang mostly from the perspective of character (Saint) Lazarus; Simon also covers the roles of Sal and a “border patrol” officer while guest Sara Ramirez plays Wahzinak; and the vocals are wonderful.
That goes for both the melodies and the lyrics, apparently co-authored by poet Derek Walcott. “He can’t leave his fears behind; he recalls each fatal thrust,” one line goes in reference to Salvador Agron, who was convicted as a youth for killing two peers with a knife; “Screams carried by the wind; phantom figures in the dust.”
my rating : 5 of 5
The best part of this song is the beat, but it would sound even better if it fully embraced its reggae roots. The bassline, for example, should’ve been set more prominent in the mix.
Still the song is anthemic despite its clunky title. The “puffing” bit ties in well with the music; Rastafarians are known for smoking ganja; and Scarface’s verse is a highlight.
my rating : 4 of 5
Florida’s always been my favorite state, long before I ever went there, mainly because it’s the warmest. I hate being cold and get cold easier (quicker) than most people, but I’m generally not bothered by hot weather. When I’m getting too hot, I’m more concerned with potentially passing out from heatstroke rather than being miserable from the feeling of being hot itself.
I also like the fact that the state is surrounded by (warm) water but not totally isolated like Hawaii. I get motion sickness on boats and can’t swim, so about knee deep is as far as I ever go into the sea or ocean; I don’t go in lakes at all because most are dirty and harbor snakes/alligators; but I do enjoy going to beaches for their natural visual and auditory aesthetics.
There are other states I like or would like to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Nowhere even comes close. Georgia is the closest physically, so if I had to live somewhere else, it would be there. California used to be my second favorite, but it’s being ruined by crazy politicians. Texas is one of the better states, but I don’t want to live anywhere near the Mexican border.
my vote : Florida