Music Review: On sophomore album, Nicki Minaj feeds all fans with rap, R&B and ...
But sheâs also proved sheâs more than hip-hop; with the success of âSuper Bassâ from her 2010 debut âPink Friday,â sheâs also become a hit pop singer. Her sophomore album, âPink Friday: Roman Reloaded,â showcases both sides of Minaj, and may get her steps closer to world domination.
Songs like âAutomatic,â ââWhip Itâ and âPound the Alarmâ â" all produced by RedOne â" are catchy pop tunes that can go toe-to-toe with any recent hit from Britney Spears, Katy Perry or Ke$ha. They follow the similar formula for most songs on Top 40 radio, with a European-flavored beat and party vibe. âStarships,â another RedOne effort, is a huge hit on the charts, and is Minajâs best solo standing outside of âSuper Bass.â
Still, Minaj isnât the worldâs greatest singer: When she croons, there always seems to be a hint of Auto-Tune, which is unfortunate. Sheâs best on âRight By My Side,â an R&B duet with Chris Brown that was co-written by Ester Dean.
The first half of âRoman Reloadedâ â" which showcases Minaj as her male alter ego Roman â" focuses on the entertainerâs rap side, featuring her boasting, boasting, and boasting some more. While thereâs no denying sheâs got it going on, cockiness can be a flaw, and itâs that here. It was part of the problem with her first album.
When less-focused with her standing in the rap world, Minaj is top-notch: âChampion,â with Nas, Drake and Young Jeezy, is great; âMarilyn Monroeâ is touching and the Beenie Man-assisted âGun Shotâ is enjoyable.
For all her phenomenal success, Minaj, on the verge of 30, seems to be a talent that is trying to find her way. She can rap, sing (so-so) and sheâs got stamina like the Energizer Bunny, yet those facets donât always mesh together smoothly.
Canât wait to hear what she finally comes up with.
CHECK THIS TRACK OUT: The best tracks from Minajâs earlier mixtapes were ones when she got deep; youâll get some of that on âMarilyn Monroe.â
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