Review Roundup: Akon – ‘Freedom’

Akon’s third studio album Freedom hits stores and digital retailers on Tuesday. What are the critics saying? Find out below.

Entertainment Weekly: Akon’s philosophy of liberty also includes the freedom to reuse nearly identical hooks for 13 songs straight. That approach may bring him plenty money, but it yields only a few legitimately fun tracks, buried beneath a pile of boring retreads. C-

Rolling Stone: Most of Freedom is pure melodrama about love and love lost, delivered in a hooting style over synth-swamped beats that are closer to early Peter Gabriel than to 2008 hip-hop. 3 out of 5

Boston Globe: The album seems obsessed with love and more love; a lot of it would be Oprah approved. Freedom is much different than his debut, the vexed Trouble and its follow-up, the sexier and funkier Konvicted.

The Times (U.K.): One listen to Freedom will convince you that the man is really just a soppy old romantic. The autotune vocals and 1980s aesthetic—tinny beats and digital synths—start out fresh, but, over 14 similarly produced tracks, soon get boring. 2 out of 5

The Guardian (U.K.): Despite his hip-hop roots and the presence of guest rappers such as Lil Wayne, it’s Akon’s buoyant pop sensibility that prevails.
3 out of 5

Rap-Up’s Favorite Tracks: “Right Now (Na Na Na),” “Beautiful,” “Troublemaker,” “I’m So Paid”