Erykah Badu Mama's Gun
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- Released: November 20, 2000
- Originally Released: 2000
- Label: Motown
Rolling Stone - 1/4/01, p.106Ranked #9 in Rolling Stone's Top 10 Albums of 2000 - "...She takes chances the way Stevie Wonder or Nina Simone did in their prime....she has taken her art to the next level..."
Entertainment Weekly - 11/24/00, p.81"...A '70s soul homage featuring live musicians and a smooth-funk sound that wouldn't be out of place on a CTI record....Badu has a nuanced voice that pokes through the bland surfaces..." - Rating: B-
Uncut - 2/01, p.793 stars out of 5 - "...Warm jazz textures, slinky beats, smoking grooves and hip hop lite. Badu's silky tones are as seductive as ever..."
Muzik - 2/01, p.795 out of 5 - "...The freshest, most inspirational set of new grooves on the planet..."
CMJ - 1/08/01, p.9Included in CMJ's "Best of the Year" for 2000.
CMJ - 12/11/00, p.4"...A sultry concoction of mild jazz and soft '70s marked by an all-around reverence for 'retro'....demonstrating her true artistry."
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
Personnel includes: Erykah Badu (vocals, acoustic guitar, whistle, synthesizer); Jef Le Johnson (acoustic & electric guitars); Dready (acoustic guitar, bass); Pino Palladino (electric guitar, bass); Russell Elevado (guitar); Igor Swzec, Emma Kummrow, Charles Parker, Gregory Teperman, Charles Kwas, Olga Konopelsky (violin); Davis Barnett, Peter Nocello (viola); Larry Gold (cello); D'Wayne Kerr (flute); Jacques "Pepe" Swarzbart (saxophone); Roy Hargrove (trumpet); Frank "Roots" Lacy (trombone); James Poyser (piano, Fender Rhodes piano, Clavinet, organ, ARP synthesizer, Mini-Moog synthesizer); Geno "Junebugg" Young (Fender Rhodes piano); Bilal Oliver (Fender Rhodes piano); R.C. Williams, Shaun "Fingers" Matin (keyboards); Roy Ayers (vibraphone).
Producers include: Erykah Badu, James Poyser, Jay Dee, Jah Born, Shaun Martin.
Engineers include: Chris Bell, Russell Elevado, Tom Soares.
"Bag Lady" was nominated for the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and for Best R&B Song.
"Didn't Cha Know" was nominated for the 2002 Grammy Award for Best R&B Song.
Personnel: Erykah Badu (vocals, background vocals); Charles Parker , Emma Kummrow, Gregory Teperman (violin); Peter Nocella (viola); Larry Gold (cello); Roy Hargrove (trumpet); Shaun Martin (keyboards); Questlove (drums); Leonard "Doc" Gibbs (percussion); Geno "Junebugg" Young, YahZarah (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Russell Elevado; Tom Soares; Leslie Brathwaite.
Photographer: Don Thompson .
R&B diva Erykah Badu's long-awaited second studio release finds her incorporating pronounced jazz influences into her history-cognizant mixture of hip-hop and soul. Jazzy touches, from the vibes on "My Life" to the ballad "Orange Moon," with its languid upright bass and bop-schooled piano, abound. Jazz trumpeter extraodinaire Roy Hargrove was responsible for all the horn arrangements on MAMA'S GUN.
"Booty"'s Crusaders-style horns and loose, funky rhythm nod to mid '70s R&B, and the guitar lines on "Bag Lady" could have come off a vintage Marvin Gaye album. With its delicate acoustic guitar textures, lush background vocals, and '70s-style keyboards, "A.D. 2000" occupies a classy middle ground between Sade and HISSING OF SUMMER LAWNS-era Joni Mitchell. The album closes with the adventurous, suite-like "Green Eyes." The first section of the song finds Badu crooning in a '30s jazz-blues style over crackles that emulate a scratchy old 78. The second "movement" grows jazzier, led by flute and punctuated by acoustic bass lines and brush-strokes on the drums. The final section bears a more modern R&B feel, with syncopated rhythms and a carefully arranged horn section. Ultimately, Badu's self-description of an "analog girl in a digital world" proves highly apt on MAMA'S GUN.
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