Nicki Minaj: Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded – Album Review

April 16, 2012 § 1 Comment

On April 3, Nicki Minaj released her sophomore effort Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. Honestly, I was very hesitant to listen to this album. Minaj has become a confusing artist – who is she? She packed too many ideas into this 19-track long album to the brim until it exploded into an unsightly mess. I’m only doing this album review because some of you wanted to know my opinion.

Well, here it is…

The album starts with “Roman Reloaded”, an odd track that brings back bad memories of her horrid Grammys performance back in February. Roman has truly gone mad, which makes me scared to keep listening.

Following is “Come on a Cone”, where the rapper raps – sort of. The track has a nice flow but lacks substance in lyrics:

“When I’m sitting with Anna, I’m really sitting with Anna
Ain’t a metaphor punchline, I’m really sitting with Anna!!”

How many times do you have to tell us that you’re sitting with Anna Wintour? We get it. The almost-inaudible chorus drives in without warning and is quite headache-inducing.

The (few) hip-hop tracks on the album all become weak due to the many features. “I Am Your Leader” is a prime example. It has a cool beat, but Cam’ron takes over the track and in turn, Minaj becomes a supporting artist.

The highlight of Roman Reloaded is definitely “Beez in the Trap.” Being my favorite song out of a dire selection, I love the minimal Miami-inspired drop-top beat combined with braggadocio lyrics. Once again the feature artist, this time 2 Chainz, seals the deal.

“Champion”, a mellow mid-tempo track, is one of the stronger tracks on the album. It takes notes of self-reflexivity from Pink Friday‘s “Moment For Life”, which is commendable. But once again, Minaj struggles to hold her own when the feature artists take the track away from her. The track does ends strong with an unexpected feature from Nas.

Now we’ve hit current Billboard chart-topper “Starships”. Here begins the 10-track overwhelmingly  long generic pop section of the album. It’s pretty much all downhill from here, with the accelerator pushed hard with no turning back.

Let’s make this clear, I love pop music and have always supported it. But the pop songs on Roman Reloaded are so generic, so basic, so cookie-cutter, so predictable that one can pinpoint them to any international artist. They strip away from Minaj’s identity and places her among her ubiquitous peers.

“Starships” is a song is no different than the ones playing in the clubs. It will definitely get people dancing once they’ve had a few cranberry vodkas, but the song itself is not good.

“Pound the Alarm” is a song you won’t admit to liking but will secretly blast it in the confiments of your bedroom. It is annoyingly loud yet annoyingly catchy. All it’s missing is a feature from Pitbull.

“Automatic” takes the worse synths from electro, trance, house and dance, mashes them together to create a incredibly horrible song that will have you shouting “STOP!!”, while “Beautiful Sinner” sounds like a Cascada leftover meant for Britney Spears. It continues with more four-on-the-floor tracks; Minaj is drowning us with overpowering synths and at this point I’ve completely given up.

With “Gun Shot”, I enjoy Minaj going to her Carribbean roots with the Beenie Man feature, but the outcome is so weak. The song would have been stronger if it was on a tough Dancehall beat and not that saccharine bubblegum pop piano melody. It just sounds so WEIRD. Beenie Man should have passed on this offer.

“Stupid Hoe”, the last track on the standard edition, is the perfect way to end the weak album.

While I do appreciate Nicki Minaj trying to please both her hip-hop and pop fans, she missed the mark with Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. The hip-hop songs were few and sounded lazy; the pop songs were overwhelmingly redundant and thoughtless. Nicki Minaj tried to prove she could master both genres. But in the end, she was just fooling herself.

Roman should have stayed in Moscow.

Overall Rating: 1.5/5

Songs on Repeat

“Beez in Da Trap”

“Right By My Side”

“Pound The Alarm”

Songs to Skip

Really…I don’t have time for this…there are alot…

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