Published Jul 03, 2009I gotta confess that I was never a fan of the King Of Pop. That makes me an absolute pariah among music critics now; most of us are scrambling like crabs in a barrel to try and out-superlative each other. As with James Brown, I always hoped that one day somebody would break through Michael Jackson's entourage, hubris and gargantuan production values and make him sweat just one more time in a live, off-the-floor setting. Unfortunately, that will never happen.
However, the Roots, who love all things funky and spontaneous, have come up with the next best thing. Prior to Erykah Badu's guest spot on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon last Friday, the band and singer found a room, some recording gear, and 1, 2, 3, 4 — hit it!
This ain't the most polished performance ever, but it's oh so full of soul. Badu is intensely focused while the band plays with a mixture of respect and one-take gusto. Here's hoping that some dressed-down demos will surface from the Neverland vault sometime in the future.
Stream "I Wanna Be Where You Are" here.