MusicApril 5, 2012 at 5:27 am

Nicki Minaj – Roman Reloaded

Combining hip–hop, rap and pop, Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded serves up classic Nicki while exhibiting a definite change in her unique style of music. Her rap lyrics are fresh and gripping, set against hard, thumping beats that reverberate through you. The rap–heavy first half of the album fades, however, into a pop–infused second half that, while tremendously catchy, sounds decidedly un–Nicki with its heavy reliance on piano and string instruments. “Marilyn Monroe” offers up a ballad that is quieter in tone and has little of the standard, in–your–face Nicki attitude, while several tracks (“Automatic,” “Va Va Voom”) sound so generically churned out with their electronic dance club beats that they’re hard to tell apart. It’s clear Nicki Minaj is trying to both compete with her pop contemporaries and appease all of her fans, but the effort tends to fall flat. Despite its faults, Roman Reloaded offers irresistibly listenable tracks and a surprisingly more pop–influenced Nicki, but doesn’t skimp on the traditional Barbie bitch.

3/5 Stars

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