Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded – Album Review – Nicki Minaj shows her two sides..
Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded – Album review – Nicki Minaj
The album kicks off with Roman Reloaded – to me this sounds like a musical theatre track, very theatrical and you can imagine it being sang to someone on the edge ‘take your medication Roman’ Nicki or Roman sings – as with a lot of her tracks production wise there is a lot going on, drums, laser sounds, swearing by the truck-load, but as with her current single ‘Starships’ some how it all comes together and I end up loving this track! The ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ shows the two different sides of Nicki/Roman the song is sung in two totally different ways in about 30 seconds.
Come on a Cone is another slightly crazy track but again it works, bizarrely I have never heard someone sing ‘dick in your face’ in such a nice way..”Dick in your face/ Put my dick in your face” why am I singing this?!
“Beez In the Trap,” feat. 2 Chainz reminds me of her mix-tape days and the production again is top notch. 2 Chainz add a nice level to the track but it doesn’t end up as one of my favourites.
Hov Lane – huge bass line on this track, to me she sounds like a female Jay-Z on this track, would have like some different lyrics though all the porn-star/bitch references feel a bit lazy on this track.
“Champion,” feat. Nas, Drake, Young Jeezy I really liked, basically it sounds like her journey from struggles to success, I like the way all the other artists come in on this track to build together a better future. There is also a personal element to the song as she talks about Nicholas, her cousin who was murdered.
Right by My Side with Chris Brown I would beg as a future single, it’s a lovely duet which shows a romantic side to Ms Minaj – I’m not a massive Chris B fan but I can’t fault his vocals on this track, it’s more of a straight sung track too.
Starships kicks in at track 10, with RedOne on board it has been a poloriszing track for many of her fans it being a very ‘pop’ track, but to me it merges what she does well with a more mainstream feel and I like it – it’s still got her kooky moments in it but you can’t deny that the hook in this track is HUGE.
Pound the Alarm is also a poppy sounding track in-fact it sounds very similar to Starships, it could be another single choice. The alarms bit would sound great in a club setting. It’s like a serious Vengaboys track – I love it!
Whip It again is a very mainstream sounding track – it’s got a lot more singing on the track combined with a dance David Guetta style beat behind it – at 19 tracks long though this album has even length to show the two different musical styles on show here – the Roman versus Nicki if you like – again I really enjoy this track and the ‘whipping’ sound effects with the crowd noises make the track sound very ‘large’.
Automatic I didn’t enjoy as much – it gets too generic here, it could be Britney singing this song or J-Lo or any of David Guetta’s guest vocalists… perhaps should have been a B-side to a single.
Beautiful Sinner was a slow grower on me…it’s hard not to think of Madonna or the Shakira/Beyonce tracks with ‘Beautiful’ in the title when she sings the chorus. Can’t see this being a single choice.
Marilyn Monroe is a nice listen, I really enjoyed the drum loops on the track and the juxtaposition between how Nicki feels at times and Marilyn is well done. I can see myself re-visiting this track time after time.
Young Forever is again a different style on this album, the track has almost got a Beyonce vibe to it. The chorus is very Euro-pop style ala Nicole Scherzinger’s last album. At around the 2 minute mark it also morphs into a Leona Lewis track…interesting listen and a nice glimpse of the range of Minaj’s vocals.
‘I pray you burn in hell and you never find the ocean’ sings Minaj on ‘Fire Burns’ – it’s a break-up track with all of Nicki’s anger directed firmly outwards to the other person. Again it was a track that I just enjoyed sitting back and listening too, it reminded me of Jordin Sparks in places.
Oh god not Beenie Man was my first thought about Gun Shot - I am not a massive fan of his vocal stylings – but you know this isn’t bad, I’m guessing it’s a nod to her Trinidadian background and bringing in a bit of reggae pop in the form of Beenie isn’t a bad thing.
Stupid Hoe closes the album in much the same way it started, with Roman shouting his mouth off in a rap form – it works as a closing track and complete the feel of the album.
I don’t know why but I feel really surprised after listening to this album, it’s a lot more pop sounding than I was expecting which for me was a pleasant surprise, I was expecting a lot of raps and swear words with other rappers just popping up every few minutes throughout the album. It’s not like that though, sure the first half of this album is more rap-heavy but from track 10 Nicki’s pop sensibilities really kick in – it’s the half I enjoyed more – but there is a bit here for everyone – I think she could break more records with this and she deserves too – it’s just the right side of brave, she doesn’t desert her hardcore fans but she also casts her net wider with some of the songs and will undoubtedly gain new fans and followers from this album. It’s a hard tight-rope to walk that one and she manages it well.
Popledge points – 7.5/10