New Amerykah Part One (4th World War)
Label: Universal/Island Def Jam
Lead single "Honey" and the delicate "Telephone" hint at the loose neo-soul of Erykah's early work, but much of the album exists in a smoky haze of French horns, synth squiggles and vaguely political chants. Think Sly Stone's There's a Riot Goin' On filtered through the lens of left-field hip-hop, played at a Hindu death procession and recycled for a malfunctioning video game about an Afrofuturist apocalypse. It's a beautiful and strange album that announces a new dawn for psychedelic soul.