Review Roundup: Nicki Minaj – ‘The Pinkprint’

The Pinkprint

Nicki Minaj’s third album The Pinkprint lands in stores today. On her most personal project yet, the rap queen holds court with Beyoncé, Ariana Grande, Drake, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, and Meek Mill, and enlists production from hitmakers including Da Internz, Mike WiLL Made-It, Dr. Luke, Hit-Boy, and Boi-1da.

From big booty anthems (“Anaconda”) to big ballads (“Grand Piano”), the 32-year-old icon shows her versatility, while keeping in check with her mixtape roots. She reveals her secrets on the confessional opening number “All Things Go,” and proves that she can rap with the best of them on “Four Door Aventador.”

“I think the album is so classic,” Nicki said of the follow-up to 2012′s Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. “It’s gonna feel so good and I think it will probably be something that female rappers look to as a Pinkprint for years to come.”

Did The Pinkprint make its mark with critics? The reviews are in.

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Review Roundup: Chris Brown – ‘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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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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Review Roundup: Michael Jackson – ‘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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Review Roundup: Pharrell Williams – ‘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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Review Roundup: 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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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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