Lydia Jenkin is an entertainment feature writer for the New Zealand Herald.

Album review: Nicki Minaj, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded

Album cover for Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded by Nicki Minaj. Photo / Supplied
Album cover for Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded by Nicki Minaj. Photo / Supplied

This blazing ball of indignant energy, who's risen through hip-hop's ranks since her highly successful debut album Pink Friday, is back with a 19-track mega-album. The Trinidadian born artist has become an impressive rapper - she can hold her own with Missy Elliott and MIA, and relishes in the aggressive, masculine style of many of the artists who feature on the tracks: Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Nas, Drake, Chris Brown and Beenie Man. But she's also capable of sounding like a pop star with quality RnB pipes that compete easily with Rihanna and Lady Gaga. She manages to encompass someone who sounds like a Lolita-Barbie, a squawky grandmother, Gary Glitter and an odd robot. The tracks range too, with dancehall, electronica and African rhythms all adding layers to the bass-heavy hip-hop production.

Unfortunately, being overly crude ain't always clever, and being female doesn't make it any less misogynistic. Minaj is at her best when she's being righteous and powerful, using her lovely Caribbean lilt, not being one of the boys.

It's a technicolour ride, but it's also a little headache-inducing when consumed in one sitting, like too many strong ingredients in the one dish, which leaves it somewhat unpalatable.

Stars: 3/5
Verdict: Hip-hop pop seductress has talents, but not enough focus


- NZ Herald

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