Reviews

Sep
17
Review Roundup: Chris Brown – ‘X’

X

After a series of delays, Chris Brown’s long-awaited sixth album X finally arrives in stores this week. The star-studded set boasts over 10 appearances from artists including Brandy, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Usher, Rick Ross, and Trey Songz.

From his sex-drenched duet with R. Kelly on “Drown In It” to the brooding ballad “Autumn Leaves” with Kendrick Lamar, the follow-up to 2012′s Fortune embodies his diverse tastes.

But did X mark the spot with critics? The reviews are in.

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May
27
Review Roundup: Mariah Carey – ‘Me. I Am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse’

Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse

There’s only one Mariah, and she’s not going anywhere. While she’s inspired a new generation of divas, the iconic singer proves she hasn’t lost her luster with her first album in nearly five years, Me. I Am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse, in stores today.

On the follow-up to 2009′s Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, Mimi caters to her diverse fanbase with hip-hop bangers (“Thirsty”), gospel power ballads (“Heavenly”), and disco-soul grooves (“Meteorite”).

She enlists Nas, Fabolous, Miguel, Wale, Stevie Wonder, and even Dem Babies, with production from hitmakers including Jermaine Dupri, Hit-Boy, Rodney Jerkins, and Q-Tip.

Did MC hit all the right notes with critics? The reviews are in.

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May
13
Review Roundup: Michael Jackson – ‘Xscape’

Xscape

Nearly five years after his death, Michael Jackson lives on with his second posthumous album Xscape. The eight unreleased tracks, originally recorded between 1983 and 1999, have been “contemporized” by executive producer L.A. Reid and hitmakers including Timbaland, Stargate, and Rodney Jerkins.

Justin Timberlake duets with the late legend on the Off the Wall outtake “Love Never Felt So Good,” the Timbaland-assisted “Blue Gangsta” evokes a “Smooth Criminal” vibe, and the Darkchild-produced title track recalls latter-day MJ.

Is the King of Pop still able to win over critics? Read the reviews and stream Xscape below.

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Mar
3
Review Roundup: Pharrell Williams – ‘G I R L’

G I R L

For over 15 years, Pharrell Williams has shaped the sound of pop music on his own and as one half of The Neptunes, crafting hits for everyone from Britney Spears to Pusha T. Now the 40-year-old creative genius, who was named Producer of the Year at the Grammys, reignites his solo career with G I R L, his first album since 2006′s In My Mind.

An homage to women everywhere, the 10 breezy tracks include collaborations with Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus, Alicia Keys, JoJo, and Daft Punk.

The Oscar nominee has already topped the charts with his sunny single “Happy,” but was he able to put a smile on the face of his critics?

The reviews are in.

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Dec
14
Review Roundup: Beyoncé – ‘BEYONCÉ’

BEYONCÉ

Beyoncé’s fifth self-titled album arrived without warning and is already reaping the rewards. The surprise release, which secretly hit iTunes on Friday, rocketed to No. 1 in 100 countries and generated 1.2 million tweets in its first 12 hours.

On the visual LP, Bey crafts 14 songs and 17 videos with some help from Jay Z, Drake, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell, Miguel, Frank Ocean, Blue Ivy, and more.

But the fans weren’t the only ones raving. The critics have also applauded her unprecedented move. The New York Times called the album “superb,” while Entertainment Weekly awarded it an A-.

Read some of the glowing reviews below.

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Nov
5
Review Roundup: Eminem – ‘The Marshall Mathers LP 2’

The Marshall Mathers LP 2

Thirteen years ago, Eminem changed the face of hip-hop and stirred lots of controversy with his 10-million-selling album The Marshall Mathers LP. Now 41 years old, the hip-hop icon revisits the past on his eighth album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2.

On the nostalgic sequel, he encounters Stan’s brother (“Bad Guy”), apologizes to his mother (“Headlights”), and goes bar for bar with Kendrick Lamar (“Love Game”), while enlisting the help of Rick Rubin, Rihanna, Skylar Grey, and fun.’s Nate Ruess.

Was the sharp-tongued MC able to recapture his glory days? Find out what the critics are saying.

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Oct
8
Review Roundup: Miley Cyrus – ‘Bangerz’

Bangerz

Miley Cyrus has shocked and enraged with her live performances and music videos. Now the 20-year-old pop star faces her critics once again with Bangerz, her fourth and most provocative album yet.

The former Hannah Montana trades her electro-pop jams for an edgier hip-hop-inspired sound courtesy of hitmakers including Mike WiLL Made-It, Dr. Luke, Pharrell, and will.i.am, with appearances from Big Sean, French Montana, Nelly, Future, and Britney Spears.

Was Miley album to impress with her coming-of-age album? Find out what the critics are saying.

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