Thursday, November 25, 2010

Nicki Minaj
Pink Friday [2010]
Standard edition: 3.5/5
Deluxe edition: 4/5

Pink Friday offers something for everybody. Its accessible to hip hop fans and people who may not typically follow rap music . Nicki promised to showcase many sides of her personality on her debut album, and she's certainly delivered on that promise.
The standard 13 track edition of Pink Friday isn't full of club bangers. Instead of just throwing together a "hood rat" album, Nicki has taken a more mid temp approach to the style of music she's used on the record. This may be a negative for people who were wanting a more heavier sound throughout the debut, but there are still some great hooks and nicely produced tracks throughout most of the track listing regardless. The album is surprisingly more melodic than i expected, and lyrically it's a very personal record. Musically, it also crosses the lines between hip hop and pop, giving her songs their own distinct flair. Nicki doesn't seem like she wants to be pigeon holed as an artist, and her varied taste in music which she's spoken openly about is evident in her output.


I'm The Best 3.5/5
This track is quintessential Nicki from start to finish. It's bubbly and upbeat without being cheesy, a perfect reflection of her personality. It's a good opener for the album because the lyrics address her climb to the top from her old skool days to now. It's also a nice indicator for listeners as to what type of album they're in for [which isn't your traditional rap album].

Roman's Revenge 5/5
The production on this song is insane, the music is heavy and chaotic, and the raps are angry and loud. The energy in the track is enough to make the walls of your house shake. The song features Eminem who appears as his alter ego, 'Slim Shady'. He battles it out along with Nicki's gay alter ego, 'Roman Zolonski'. They throw rhymes at each other perfectly, and the song only gets weirder and more entertaining during the last minute of the track when Nicki channels Roman's Mother, 'Martha', who warns Roman of the trouble he's causing in her heavy British accent. It's an incredible song that showcases Nicki's snappy lyrics nicely, as well as having the most unique production out of all the songs on the album.

Did It On'em 4/5
Dis be street, dis be hood, the most ghetto song on the album. It features a very slow, grinding, heavy bass line with Nicki's vulgar rapping on top of it. The lyrics are also fucking hilarious. This reminds me a lot of old skool mix tape Nicki.

Right Thru Me 4/5
It's got a great hook, and it's very romantic sounding.

Fly 4/5
This features one of the best choruses on the album. The song has potential hit single written all over it, it'd sound perfect on radio. I really like it, it's very pretty. The chorus is sung by Rihanna.

Save Me 5/5
Nicki sings on this instead of rapping, and her voice sounds quiet nice on record when trying to hit a few higher notes. What makes the song though is the music, it's a nice really pretty drum and base, down tempo instrumentation that flows nicely.

Moment 4 Life 4/5
This song has really grown on me over time. It's got a great mid-tempo beat and Drake's rap fits nicely in with Nicki's parts. It's an obvious single and perfect for radio.

Check It Out 3/5
I hated it when i first heard it, but it's since warmed up to me, but only a little. I'll always have a love/hate relationship with this song. Parts of it i like, other parts i can't stand. I need to be in the mood for it, but it can be catchy at the right time. It's the sample that drives me nuts on this, it's just so shit sounding. I do like the second half of the song though when the beat breaks down a lot more and it gets funkier. Could i do without it? yes, but i don't mind that it's there. is featured on this.

Blazin' 4/5 should take some notes from this song, this is how you use a sample perfectly. I really love the synths in this, the production is really strong. The song has a strong anthem vibe to it, love how vast it sounds, and the build up to the chorus is perfect. Kanye West raps on this.

Here I Am 5/5
I really love this song. The heavy synths throughout the verses, and the loud motorbike revving sound effect after each chorus sounds really fucking cool. It's dark and grimey, i only wish it was longer. It's my second favourite song from the album.

Dear Old Nicki 3/5
It's one of the weaker tracks on the album, mostly because the production is a bit generic and dull. I don't mind it being on the record, but i find it slows down the last section of the album a bit too much. Lyrically it's fantastic, i love how it's written in letter format and she makes some great personal references in it. It's cute, but very forgettable.

Your Love 4/5
The first #1 rap single by a female MC in years!.....great song, well written, very catchy, very simple.

Last Chance 2.5/5

Probably the weakest track on the album for me. It's certainly catchy, and i can see how others may like it, but it's a bit too sickely sweet for my taste. It's listenable, but i would have gone with one of the bonus tracks as the closer for the album, preferably 'Catch Me'. Natasha Beningifled is featured on this.

Super Bass [Deluxe bonus] 4/5

This could have fit nicely onto the standard edition of Pink Friday. The music during the verses and Nicki''s quicker than usual raps are a nice build up to a very upbeat and catchy chorus. A good summer track.

Blow Ya Mind [Deluxe bonus] 4/5
Similar to Did It Oném, this reminds me a lot of old skool Nicki. I love the mix of the guitar in the chorus and heavy bass of the verses. It's a heavy sounding track, it would sound great live and loud.

Muny [Deluxe bonus] 4/5
Another bonus track that should have made the standard tracklisting. It has the same sort of hook that gets stuck in your head like Beyonce's "Single Ladies"did.

Wave Ya Hands [Best Buy Deluxe only bonus] 4/5
I like the simplistic approach to the music in this. It has a nice anthem sort of vibe to it, like something she'd sing to a massive crowd of fans.

Catch Me [Best Buy Deluxe only bonus] 5/5
It's amazing that a song as good as this was left off the standard release of the album, especially considering the few questionable songs Nicki opted to use instead of it. This is my favourite song from the record, the blasts of electronic effects after each chorus and the endless hypnotic drumming beat throughout the instrumentation is perfect. I fucking love this song.

Girls Falls Like Dominoes [iTunes only bonus] 3.5/5
The sample in this is a bit too heavy, the chorus should have been taken back a notch and worked Nicki's vocals into it more. Either way though, this is very catchy and the lyrics are funny.

The first half of Pink Friday is stronger than the second half. It opens up nicely with some heavy club songs and good ballads. The middle section of the record consists of mostly mid-tempo type tracks, so a couple of more dancier tunes would have helped the album flow a little easier towards the end of the track listing. Still, it's real flaws are far and few between, with peoples reactions to the album being based more on what type of rap they prefer listening to, rather than the actual production of the songs, which in my opinion for the most part is very nicely done.

It's the deluxe edition of the album that livens up the record nicely though, with a big chunk of club tracks extending out the track listing into a more varied play list. Any slight short comings from the standard edition are ironed out nicely once you get a better mix of slower and faster songs. A few of the bonus tracks could have replaced a few of the standard album songs, but i can listen to both versions of the album and be content with both.

Pink Friday is a good way to welcome Nicki to the music industry as a viable artist with versatility. She isn't just a blow up doll with big tits, she can be quiet introspective and is capable of writing some great lyrics. As an entire project [combining all the songs from each edition], it's an enjoyable listen with her stamp firmly punched into the music. The album will definitely draw in an eclectic mix of fans, which is what will help her career in the long run.


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