Ms. Badu takes the listener on a cellular frequency– storytelling the mishaps of breaking up, making up and how to deal in this digital invested world.
The tracklist is the signature of Badu’s soulful melodies and sequences. With But You Caint Use My Phone, Erykah gives perspective on this mystical device known as the cellular phone, a haven for timeless communication. The unfortunate factor is how we allow it to engage us in heartbreak, distractions, or frustrations. A dial-tone soundbite can be heard throughout the album as a consist reminder of these emotions.
Between forwarded calls to ignored text messages phones can simply jumble our feelings. Reflected in ” I’ll Call You Back,” Badu sings of how busy one can become within a matter of minutes. Opening the track with a long dial-tone increasing in volume that fades into Erykah’s soft breaths. Giving the impression of her being too “busy” as the caller grows frustrated and continues to call back. This song made me think of all those who live a façade. Those who live for the Gram or Facebook, but have no real aspirations; or those always on the scene but play ghost for community affairs. Just pretending to be busy. As a follower of the “fat belly bella” on Twitter, I can imagine this album was a blast to make. Considering the amount of shade she throws in her tweets, you can expect to hear it in a few tunes as well.
Two songs on the record, really stood out to me “Dial’Afreaq” a 90’s remake, and a duet with Andre 3000 entitled “Hello.” “Dial’Afreaq” is a experimental sound mixed with electrofunk, and “Hello” is ode to R&B music with a Hip-hop flair. “Hello” is honest story of lovers placing their relationship on hold. As both Andre and Erykah speak the reasons behind their admiration for eachother, a caller is put on hold, causing the other to question “Hello?” Are my messages heard or is this just me speaking aloud to myself. Maybe proving something to oneself, showing the deepness and rawness of love you have for this person.
The playlist is nothing short of a MTV’s Unplugged segment and is completely worth the purchase.
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