Jay-Z’s first concept album American Gangster arrives in stores tomorrow. The critics have mostly favorable things to say about Jigga’s new album. Here’s a sampling of some of the reviews.
Entertainment Weekly: But Gangster is not purely a throwback album. There are also sparse, programmed beats from the Neptunes and lesser-knowns like No I.D., with Jay-Z fixing his flow accordingly. What unites the collection more than a specific sound is a narrative arc that loosely parallels Lucas’ rise and decline. B+
Rolling Stone: American Gangster definitely doesn’t have any fluff like Kingdom Come‘s “30 Something” or “Beach Chair.” Jay sounds relaxed, no longer worried about impressing anyone. 4 out of 5 stars
New York Times: This equivocation—a rapper inspired by a movie about a gangster, trying simultaneously to distance himself from rappers, actors and the gangster in question—sums up the album’s greatest strength and greatest weakness.