Hotel guests across the country will see Dallas' own Erykah Badu named among the artists in USA Today's critic's picks for top albums of 2008. Edna Gunderson named New Amerykah, Pt. 1: 4th World War as the No. 5 album of the year, describing it as "Gutsy, inventive, deeply felt neo-soul and retro funk." Also on Gunderson's list are Modern Guilt (Beck), Momofuku (Elvis Costello & The Imposters), Dear Science (TV on the Radio) and Fleet Foxes' self-titled album at No. 1.
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And the album lands at No. 13 on Pitchfork's top 50. Of course, Badu's in slightly less mainstream (and decidedly less Amerykahn) company there, nestled between the Swedes in Air France and Norway's Lindstrøm. "On her latest album, this honey-voiced Earth Mother goes down to the well and comes back pissed-off, knives-out, long-winded, half-stoned-- it's a sign of the times," opines critic Mike Powell. I'm guessing we'll see the honey-voiced Earth Mother on plenty more lists before the end of list season. --Jesse Hughey