The Reviews Are In For Nicki Minaj's 'Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded.' Album Is Getting Slammed By Some, Praised By Others. How Would You Rate It? [Poll]




The wait for Nicki Minaj's much-anticipated sophomore album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, is over, but critics are divided over whether it's a worthy successor to the diva's platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated debut.


To be clear, nary a critic is questioning Minaj's talent. Indeed, many of the negative notices lament Minaj's decision to focus less on her gifts as a rapper — which are evidenced on some of the album's early tracks — in favor of creating generic dance songs designed to appeal to mainstream radio.


In an at times scathing one-and-a-half-star review, Slant praises Reloaded's opening tracks as "hard, confrontational rap songs" that are "brilliant." However, and it's a big however, "The remaining 53 minutes of Roman Reloaded are a disaster, so much so that I could fill the rest of this review with a non-exhaustive list of the most embarrassing missteps." Ouch.


The album is divided "almost exactly between a rap half and a pop half," and if the rap half — particularly the tracks "Beez in the Trap" and "Come on a Cone" — is being praised, the pop half is being trashed harder than just about any pop album in recent memory.


"At her best, Nicki Minaj is, line for line, one of the wittiest, most creative rappers working today, either male or female. Her many personas and voices fly through her songs with joyful abandon, and she seems to be having so much fun astonishing us," the LA Times writes. "On the first half of her second album, Pink Friday ... Roman Reloaded, the Trinidadian American rapper from New York City offers repeated evidence of her talents, and she delivers funny, biting, bawdy lines and rhyming couplets with apparent glee. ... But then, after the ridiculousness that is 'Sex in the Lounge' (which sounds like a Lonely Island parody of an R. Kelly song, and, [unsurprisingly], features Lil Wayne), the album drives off a cliff."


Among the complaints: » The club bangers that compose the album's second half are "of the blandest and most cookie-cutter variety. The music behind 'Automatic' could be mistaken for a 15-year-old's first stab at making a dance track on Ableton software, a cynically simple run with clumsy synth chord progressions that were already tired when invented at cheesy 1998 raves." — LA Times


» "The five RedOne-helmed tracks in a row feel as distinct and independent as the opening six did, but big synths and dramatic drops are the stars of these songs, with Minaj herself reduced to supporting player." » "There are way too many anonymous dance numbers like 'Automatic' and 'Fire Burns' that could have come from a dozen singers." —


The consensus seems to be that Nicki is at her best when she's spitting lines as Roman rather than pursuing the beat-driven bubblegum that, ironically, has provided her with some of her biggest Billboard chart hits, including the RedOne-produced Reloaded single "Starships," which currently sits at #5 on the Hot 100, and her collaboration with David Guetta, "Turn Me On" (#10 this week after peaking at #4 earlier this year).


There are some overall positive notices out there. In a near rave, Global Grind calls Reloaded "a rollercoaster ride of musical insanity, mesmerizing rap bars [and] catchy pop tracks that you may not want to like, but end up singing anyway." Popdust awarded the set a three-and-a-half (out of four) star review, commenting that its "monstrous beats and [Nicki's] convincing delivery leave little room for rebuttal."


Giving it a B+, Newsday says, "The first half of Roman Reloaded is the Nicki we've come to love. The pride of Jamaica, Queens, is brash and in your face, messing with gender roles and delivering all sorts of zingers. In first-rate hip-hop like 'I Am Your Leader,' where she holds her own with Rick Ross and Cam'ron, and 'Champion,' where she takes on Nas and Young Jeezy, Minaj cements her rep as hip-hop's brightest new star." The news mag even goes so far as to say that Minaj "has her moments" on the pop side. That's just about the biggest compliment we would find regarding Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded's controversial second half.


Have you listened to Nicki's latest release? If so, rate the album in our poll and let us know your opinions in the comments below.

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Comment by top 3 = Ross/Banks/Kiss on April 3, 2012 at 8:20pm
@Chris R, you might be right, but I wouldn't put my money on it , if anything, I'll put My money That she'll see Platinum Easy ..... I'm willing to officially bet with any 1 here that this album will go platinum in less than 6 months, but you gotta be from NYC if you wanna bet on it .... I got 2k that she will see gold in less than 2 months, and also that she will see platinum in less than 6 months !!!
Comment by Dope MC - Chris on April 3, 2012 at 8:13pm
@op 3 = Ross/Banks/Kiss or this will flop and become hated and no matter what she does she will always be hated
Comment by BUM A** N**** on April 3, 2012 at 8:12pm
Comment by RoyalChi - You Will Bow To Me!!! on April 3, 2012 at 8:08pm
I don't think she fell off or anything like that...I just think she tries too hard for a follow up to Super Bass. I saw the same thing happen to Sisqo...good R&B singer who had a hit outside his realm & every song after was an attempt to recreate the thong song & then he loss the core audience that supported him in the first place. Same thing is happening with Nicki!
Comment by NATE \m/ (-_-) \m/ on April 3, 2012 at 8:07pm
g-unit yeah right lmao
Comment by shownowt on April 3, 2012 at 7:52pm
if she was on g-unit it would be the best album since GRODT lol
Comment by wtfBUCK on April 3, 2012 at 7:47pm
pretty much they are saying she needs to quit singing and just rap or rap more and put just a tiny bit of singing
Comment by top 3 = Ross/Banks/Kiss on April 3, 2012 at 7:25pm
that's exactly what I said, when the track "whip it" comes out, it will do 200 million views, and I'm save your comment right now, and when that rack reaches 200 million views, Ima make a post about you with your comment, and I'ma have everybody laughing at you !!!!!! don't let the hatred blind you with the fact that the albums is gonna be a success, I'm not a fan but like I said earlier, I can see how its going to be successful !!! @ flip, you should go to Hater's rehab !!!
Comment by flip on April 3, 2012 at 7:16pm
n**** said 200million views on youtube lol
Comment by top 3 = Ross/Banks/Kiss on April 3, 2012 at 7:15pm
Also, I believe that she's gonna get so heavily criticized in the hip hop community, that her third effort is gonna be a double album, One side would be straight pop with the best production and writers possible, and the other side is gonna be straight hip hop with the best production possible and grimiest lyrics !!! and this is seriously gonna put her on top of everything and dominate all the Hot 97's, Power 105.1, Z 100's and 92.3's and internationally everywhere ... Mark my word, take my opinion or throw it away, but one thing I could tell you about myself is that I pay close attention to things, and this is exactly what's going to happen !!!

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