The entire time leading up to Roman Reloaded I was drowning in anticipation. I needed to hear this. And after giving it a listen through, I have to say that the wait was oh so worth it.
Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded is a fitting title because it literally does sound like an expansion to the set on Pink Friday and not in a negative way. We’re given tracks that go harder in both the rap and pop direction.
Now, this album won’t definitely be for everybody. If you don’t like Nicki’s antics (which, given, I understand) than you certainly will not find anything for you here. But, if you follow her and were waiting for the album just as long as I was than enjoy. you’ll love it.
The first seven tracks definitely serve the Roman persona/older Nicki fans. We’re given the melodramatic, theatrical “Roman Holiday” as the opening but the next 5 tracks are definitely some of the best rapping Nicki has done in a while. The tracks have amazing hooks, guest rappers, and the rapping is on point. I especially enjoyed “Come on a Cone” and “I Am Your Leader” which both were pretty gritty rap tracks but still fun in the way Nicki services the tracks. It all comes to head on the track “Champion” which is grandiose in its sound. The track which serves as a transition into the more-pop sounding tracks on the record is quite fantastic. Reminiscent of a Drake and Kanye track, the tribute is well meant and sincere.
The next part of the album is composed of transition tracks that are a mix between Drake-esque rap/R&B/Barbie material. “Right By My Side” is a way better pop/rap ballad than “Your Love” and “Right Thru Me”. “Sex in the Lounge” is meant to sound smooth and alluring, but makes way too many sexual references. It’s a bit uncomfortable.
The third part of the album is composed of some pretty intense club-banger music. The beats and sound are enormous. The rapping is reduced and the singing becomes more frequent. “Starships” is still sounds like the perfect summer jam. “Pound the Alarm” is quite bombastic. It’s also an improvement over “Starships” in that it has Nicki rapping over the beat. “Whip It” is good, but the lyrics are reaching levels of insipidness and it’s a bit grating. “Beautiful Sinner” is a nice reprieve because the music winds down until it hits its house-like chorus.
The next part of the album winds down completely and we’re given a set of songs that reminiscent of Kelly Rowland’s Here I Am and contemporary dance/R&B. “Marilyn Monroe” is a bit dull and though the comparison is interesting, the track still falls flat. Same case with “Young Forever”, “Fire Burns”, and “Gun Shot”. Honestly, I feel as though it drags the album down completely. Nicki should have trimmed the fat off her album by cutting these tracks.
Then the album ends on “Stupid Hoe”. While the track is polarizing (I enjoy it though) it would’ve been better placed in the Roman section at the beginning of the album.
Altogether, the album was a lot more cohesive than it appeared it would be. The tracks’ placement make the rap/pop sound reduce the shock of the juxtaposition though its still there. The good thing though is that the tracks are top-notch. The album expands a sound that started on Pink Friday and it thrives on this album. The album could have used a bit more inspiration for the dance tracks and ballads though as they sound a lot less inspired compared to the rap tracks.
Favorite Tracks: Come on a Cone, Beez in the Trap, HOV Lane, Champion, Right By My Side, Pound the Alarm
"Revolver (One Love Remix)" - David Guetta featuring Madonna & Lil’ Wayne
"I Love New York" - Madonna
"Girl Gone Wild" - Madonna
"I’m Addicted" - Madonna
"Princess of China" - Coldplay featuring Rihanna
"I Follow Rivers" - Lykke Li
"Who Do You Think You Are" - Spice Girls
"Mannequin" - Katy Perry
"Don’t Be a Girl About It" - Kelly Clarkson
I’m on a Madonna binge after the MDNA release! I listened through the Confessions on a Dance Floor album and it was infinitely better than MDNA, but I digress. Here are some of my favorite Madonna songs and my favorite songs at the moment.
Funny how 3 ofthe tracks from MDNA made it onto my list. I still really enjoy “Girl Gone Wild” even if it isn’t the most inventive track. “I’m Addicted” is the most dance floor ready anthem available on the album. And then there’s “B-Day Song”. “B-Day Song” is a signal of some pretty interesting experiments that were taking place behind the scene. It’s reminiscent of 80’s new wave and M.I.A.’s lines add another dimension to the track. It’s fantastic. If only these experiments ran rampant throughout the album.
I didn’t actually listen to the original version of “Revolver” until Philip showed it to me so the David Guetta version was the first version I heard. The remix got him a Grammy and for good reason. This is an amazing track. The beat is thumping, the music is intense. Madonna really just needs to sign on David Guetta as her main co-producer.
I actually didn’t listen to the original version of “I Love New York” first either. I first heard it in the season two finale of Glee where it was mashed up with “New York, New York”. I heard it while listening through Confessions on a Dance Floor and realized what track it was. God, it’s good.
"Princess of China" made it back to my favorites list. It’s an epic duet. Love it.
Wounded Rhymes was a huge change from Lykke’s first album because it went from this dream pop sound to this retro sounding perverted surf and psychedelic pop. “I Follow Rivers” is one of my favorites. It sounds like a sweet love song, but is only deceptively so. It reaches this level of desperation that makes it sound almost disturbing. Combined with the bombastic sound and Lykke’s grand vocals, it’s a trip.
"Who Do You Think You Are". Spice Girls. Listen to it. You won’t regret it.
It’s weird seeing Katy blow up into a pop princess when I can still remember her album and “I Kissed a Boy” being promoted on iTunes as the single of the week. Her first album is completely different with a pop/rock sound that is non-existent in Teenage Dream. “Mannequin” was another song Philip introduced to me, but it’s quickly become one of my favorites. It’s a good metaphor for a dying relationship and Katy’s vocals are superb. It actually is reminiscent of one of Katy’s inspirations, Alanis Morissette.
I finished listening through Stronger a few days ago and the album was one of Kelly’s strongest. “Don’t Be a Girl About It” could be interpreted misogynistic track but it’s such a fun, little fist-pumper of a song. And Kelly’s perfect so the track is amazing.
So, for the past few days I decided to give MDNA a listen and gather some thoughts about.
The album opens with the very promising, “Girl Gone Wild”. We’re given an eerie intro/prayer, some electro-blips and then some softly spoken lyrics to complement the sparse production. The song is a bit unimpressive production and vocals-wise, but it’s solid enough.
And that’s the story of the whole album. The entire album just feels overwhelmingly underproduced for a dance album. The first four songs are dedicated dance songs and nor the beats, production, lyrics, or vocals hit hard enough to actually warrant dancing.
MDNA was a project Madonna took on all on her own and maybe she could’ve used a little bit more help. The sad thing is that she had a team of talented producers. Benny Benassi and his cousin contribute and their pretty talented. Plus, she had Robyn’s personal muse, Klas Ahlund assist as well (responsible for “Be Mine!” ; “Cobrastyle”). And even then the album feels flat. She really should’ve reached out to some more producers. Maybe Dr. Luke, Stargate, David Guetta. And let them handle production.
"Give Me All Your Luvin’" was engaging to me because it sounded like maybe Madonna would delve into her younger years as inspiration and make a more retro-sounding record. But, instead we’re given tracks like "Masterpiece" and "Some Girls" which just don’t contribute enough to sound like quality Madonna tracks.
Then, we’re also served with Madonna’s thinning vocals which just can’t carry a dance tune anymore. Part of the reason why dance records are so exciting and fun is because the production builds up and is matched by the vocals. Madonna unfortunately does neither.
Overall, the album was a bore. The tracks just weren’t hard-hitting enough to be club-bangers and yet hardly say anything meaningful enough to stick. There are too many artists now who do quality electronic and dance music. I would just hope that the Queen of Pop would come out with something that would innovate, not just be “good enough”.
Favorite Tracks: Girl Gone Wild, I’m Addicted, Give Me All Your Luvin’, I Fucked Up
"Beez in the Trap" - Nicki Minaj featuring 2 Chainz
"Wild Ones" - Flo-Rida featuring Sia
"Boyfriend" - Alphabeat
"Turn Me On" - David Guetta featuring Nicki Minaj
"Remedy" - Little Boots
"Footprints" - Róisín Murphy
"Primadonna" - Marina and the Diamonds
"Strangeness and Charm" - Florence + The Machine
"Heat Wave" - Alphabeat
"Missing You" - The Black Eyed Peas
I must be in a fairly dance-y mood this week since most of these are dance tracks haha.
"Beez in the Trap" leaked like a few days ago and I must say I enjoy it immensely. I love the intense, harsh beat. And Nicki’s rapping is top-notch. And the 2 Chainz feature only adds to the intense hip-hop track. Love it. Can’t wait for Roman Reloaded.
I love “Wild Ones” because Sia is on it. That’s all. Her voice is fantastic in dance music. As for Flo-Rida…..honestly, does anyone give a shit about his raps? Bahah.
Alphabeat is so good at making retro-power pop. Like honestly, their music sounds like vintage 80’s and 90’s pop. “Boyfriend” sounds like an alternative pop track from the 80’s with the cheesy synths and chanty chorus. “Heat Wave” elevates the group into disco divas. The climbing music and climatic chorus are pretty fantastic.
Still love “Remedy”. Listen to it some time. Same goes for “Primadonna” and “Missing You”.
Finally, the Florence track. “Strangeness and Charm” is so odd. It has a dancey vibe, but it’s fairly dark. It has a monumental chorus and so many layers that it can be intimidating. The science and chemistry metaphors are an interesting way to relate love.
YES. Finally beat the Elite Four in Pokemon Black. God, that shit took me all day. Every time this happens I always feel like just shouting. “YEAH BITCHES. I KICKED ALL YOUR FUCKING ASSES. WHO’S THE GODDAMN POKEMON MASTER NOW!?” …..why am I so lame and have no life. Whatevz. Still the Pokemon Champ~
The tracklisting for Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded was revealed today!
Come on a Cone
I Am Your Leader (feat. Cam’ron & Rick Ross)
Beez in the Trap (feat. 2 Chainz)
Roman Reloaded (feat. Lil’ Wayne)
Champion (feat. Nas, Drake & Young Jeezy)
Right by My Side (feat. Chris Brown)
Sex in the Lounge (feat. Lil’ Wayne & Bobby V)
Pound the Alarm
Gun Shot (feat. Beenie Man)
The deluxe edition will include the following tracks.
Turn Me On (feat. David Guetta)
Va Va Voom
Seems like Nicki opted to allowed a bunch of guest rappers this time around, as opposed to pop singers. That’ll be interesting. And I guess “Roman in Moscow” was just a buzz single then? Sad. I liked that song. And “Va Va Voom” was reduced to being a bonus track? That’s really odd considering it was supposed to be a lead single at first. And no Britney on “Masquerade”! :(
“Alright, so this is a song about…anyone, it could be anyone. You’re just doing your own thing and someone comes out the blue. They’re like ‘alright, what you sayin’. Yeah, can I take your digits?’ And you’re like ‘no, not in a million years, you’re nasty. Please leave me alone….’”— Lily Allen in “Knock ‘em Out”
I can’t waittttt until Marina releases her sophomore album! I really dug “Radioactive” and I was little skeptical about “Homewrecker” but “Primadonna” is perfect! It has the quirky Marina-esque vocals, the satirical/sassy lyrics and to give it some “oomph” a sharp electro punch. That along with the sing-a-long chants makes this song just way too fun.
And following up with all that delightful perkiness is Alphabeat’s new single, “Vacation”! It’s so sunny and fun and cheery, my god it’s like a sugar rush in song form. Reminiscent of surf pop and new wave music, it’s so bright. Love it.
I listened to both of Alphabeat’s albums and this is definitely my favorite track out of both albums. It has a nice mix of piano/power pop and new wave. The sound is augmented even more by the size of the backing vocals.
Little Boot’s “Remedy” totally contrast with the other tracks though. It’s a dark clubstomper in which she claims that “dancing is her remedy, remedy.” Even though her vocals are slightly bland I really enjoy the dancey-ness of the track.
Really the only reason I bother listening to the Black Eyed Peas is because of Fergie. She’s fantastic. That being said, I love the songs that try to include as much Fergie singing as possible. “Missin’ You” is one of those songs. will.i.am’s rapping is standard at best, but Fergie’s interjections and her emotionally-charged choruses and bridge elevate it so much. There’s a dramatic flair that accentuates the hard club beat and make it sound a bit like classic 70’s disco, in terms of flair.
Still love “Fixin’ to Thrill”. I love it’s hard edge combined with the fizzy synths and guitar and I love the almost childish vocals that give the song a pretty rebellious feel.
"Titanium" is so interesting because I had been listening to Sia beforehand and a David Guetta collab sounded so odd. The strumming guitars at the beginning are slightly deceptive because it gives the song a soul/pop sound. Then, the beat drops, a crash, the synths start to climb and so do Sia’s vocals. It’s almost like a competition and it pays off with an enormous house breakdown. Probably the best song off of Nothing But the Beat.
Róisín was made for disco and this song is the perfect example of that. End of story.
I love “I’m Dat Chick” haha. I just love listening to music that has ridiculously sassy proclamations. And this song not only has that but a banging beat that makes you think that maybe Kelly Rowland’s Here I Am would be more rewarding. It is not unfortunately and maybe it would’ve been if Kelly didn’t stick to that dance/R&B shit.
Finally, my girl, Lily. I really wish she’d make her return to music! This song came on my iPod and oh my gosh, it’s so fun to try to imitate the voices bahaha. The sarcastic quips combined with the rolling piano make this a delight. I miss her. :(