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Mama's Gun


Critics' Reviews


A definite work of art, destined to remain in heavy rotation for some time to come.

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Mama's Gun finds Erykah disrobing emotionally, shedding the self-righteousness and goddess posture that marked Baduizm. The new Erykah isn't teaching, she's dealing with regular-person baggage.

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On the 14-track "Mama's Gun," Badu mixes a little rock, some jazz, and a whole lot of soul.

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Mama's Gun is the female companion to D'Angelo's ''Voodoo,'' with which it shares a reactionary pseudo- sophistication that too often substitutes good taste for good tunes. It's soul music for people who -- wrongly -- think rap is dumb and contemporary R&B is simplistic. Unlike D'Angelo, however, Badu has a nuanced voice that pokes through the bland surfaces; sometimes she manages moments worthy of her forebears, as on the slinky ''Bag Lady'' and the syncopated ''Booty.''

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