A Music Review of “Pink Friday” by Nicki Minaj…

Universal Motown Records 2010

I have to admit that Pink Friday by Nicki Minaj has been my most anticipated release  for the year. I first heard Nicki over a year ago on a remix of “Single Ladies” by Beyonce and I was so impressed not only by her style, talent, but also her attitude as a female rapper. I tend to love strong female artists with a voice, and she is definitely that and beyond. Many things about her reminded me of Lil Kim who was one of the first rappers I really got into back in the day. What impressed me the most with Nicki was her quick growth in the industry, before she even had a solo album released.

Nicki Minaj started out as an artist of the group Young Money which was a group of rappers and singers put together by Lil Wayne. The album debuted in 2009 and the success of the single “Bedrock” brought not only Drake but Nicki Minaj great attention. Shortly thereafter, Nicki Was guesting on many big artists songs: Mariah Carey, Ludacris, Usher, Will.i.am, Gucci Mane, Kanye West, and you name it. This was such an incredible task being she hadn’t even released a solo album yet, and she was already a mega star and named the new “Queen” of Hip Hop music.

However all of the praise and positive reactions was receiving put huge pressure on her to not only release her solo album, but also be just as successful at it. Her first single was released in May of 2010 with a hip hop track called “Massive Attack” which featured  Sean Garrett. Though a decent song in its own right, it didnt seem to have the strenth and energy expected from Nicki. Her second single came out in June of the year called “Your Love” which was a sultry pop ballad sampleing one of  Annie Lennox hit songs, and showed us not only Nicki’s rap skills but vocal abilities as well. This song did extrmemly well on the charts, and it was decided that her album needed to be released very soon.

Pink Friday debuted on November 22nd this year and reached huge praise from not only fans but critics as well. Her album is a perfect blend of rap, pop, and female empowerment. Some critics were dissapointed that there wasn’t more of the Nicki strong Hip Hop songs that we all have grown to love, but I myself disagree because Nicki is a great combination of both Hip Hop/R&B and Pop musical styles.

Songs such as “I am the Best”, “Right Thru Me”, “Roman’s Revenge”, and “Last Chance” are great examples of Nicki’s range of abilities in different genres of music. She has some great guest stars on the album such as; Will.I.Am, Rihanna, Eminemn, and Natasha Bedingfield which help her in her musical efforts.

I have to say, and its rare for me to say this but this is DEFINITELY the album of the year for me! I love every single song, and listened to this album non stop for the first two weeks after I got it. While I am a music lover and always have been, its rare for me to like an album this much. Nicki has blown me away and more than exceeded my expectations. I can’t wait to see what Nicki brings to us for the future to come, and see her out on tour for this album.

A heads up to all readers, the album is pretty explicit, and definitely not for the kiddies. However, a clean version is also availble as well. I highly recommend the Deluxe version of the album which includes four bonus tracks, more than worth the extra couple of bucks!  

I give Pink Friday by Nicki Minaj FIVE out of FIVE STARS!!! A first for an EfTRoU Review!!!

-Warren

A Music Review of “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry…

Katy Perry

Capital Records

It is hard to believe that just two years ago, Katy Perry first graced us with her presence with her debut album “One of the Boys.” After receiving wide success from her first single off the album,  “I Kissed a Girl”; she continued to do well with with the other single releases as well, and quickly began to establish herself in the industry as a very talented and rising star.

The summer of 2010 marked the much welcomed return of the pop princess with more upbeat, fun, and catchy songs for us. Her first single off the album,”California Gurls” debuted in May of this year. The track  features Snoop Dogg, and is an insanely fun and catchy song that not only makes you want to get up and dance, but completely represented summertime in my opinion. The song quickly began to create a big buzz in the music scene and success continued to follow with her second single off the album “Teenage Dream.” I remember being totally blown away by how strong both of these new songs were. While I am a big fan of her debut release, and there were definitely some strong songs present; I was surprised by how much stronger and more catchy the new material was, and I eagerly awaited the release of the album Teenage Dream.

When I first heard Teenage Dream in it’s entirety I noticed that I almost instantly liked every song off the album. This was definitely not the case with her first effort. I also enjoyed the fact that the majority of the new album is more upbeat than her last one. While she does have some slower numbers on it such as “Not Like The Movies” and “Pearl” they are great songs, and very strong in their own right. At the same time, songs like “Last Friday Night (TGIF)”, “Peacock”, and “Hummingbird Heartbeat” have the same catchy vibe and strength we have come to love from her.

Working with the production duo of  Dr. Luke and Max Martin once again proved to be very beneficial for Katy. They did a great job with giving us the same fun and catchy songs we come to love and expect from the artist, but also a new flavor and feel to it as well. I can honestly say that Teenage Dream represents the soundtrack to the summertime, and I think many would agree with me on that.

For those of you like myself, who still enjoy buying the physical compact disc version of the album, the artwork not only comes with a brilliant essence from that of a candy shop, but the CD booklet is even cotton candy scented for a limited pressing. Something cool and different for people to appreciate in a non-digital copy of the album.

If you are looking for a really fun and energetic album that makes you feel good, I highly recommend Teenage Dream by Katy Perry. With summertime already drawing to an end, it will make you feel like summertime once again everytime you play it!

I give it FIVE out of FIVE Stars! Great job Katy and crew :)     

-Warren