Frank Ocean caused a commotion with his coming out letter, but it’s his major label debut channel ORANGE that has everyone talking this week. Upon its surprise release on Monday night, the album shot to No. 1 on iTunes, where it currently remains. On the heels of last year’s acclaimed project Nostalgia, Ultra, the Odd Future singer-songwriter assembles 17 more sublime tracks, with features from André 3000, Earl Sweatshirt, and John Mayer. Was Ocean able to win over his critics once again? The reviews are in.
First he gave you F.A.M.E. and now Chris Brown is sharing his Fortune on his fifth album, in stores today. The R&B superstar follows up his Grammy-winning effort with a collection of electro-pop, dance, and R&B tracks featuring Nas, Big Sean, Wiz Khalifa, Kevin McCall, and Sevyn, plus the hit singles “Turn Up the Music” and “Till I Die.” Was Breezy able to win over his critics with his latest body of work? Find out below.
Usher was only 19 when he released his breakout single “You Make Me Wanna…” Now 15 years, seven Grammys, and two kids later, the R&B superstar reinvents himself with his seventh album Looking 4 Myself. The project combines elements of R&B, pop, dance, hip-hop, and electro, with production from diverse hitmakers including Diplo, Pharrell, Salaam Remi, Rico Love, Max Martin, and more. Did Usher’s risks pay off? Find out below.
Seventeen years after the release of her debut Miss Thang, Monica stands tall on her sixth album New Life. Now married with two kids, the R&B veteran stays true to her R&B roots while collaborating with today’s hitmakers including Rico Love, Salaam Remi, and Polow da Don. She reunites with Brandy on the powerful duet “It All Belongs to Me” and explores new territory with Wale on “Take a Chance.” Did she win over the critics? Find out below.
It’s been four years since Estelle released her last album. After a few delays, the British songbird soars once again on her third album All of Me, featuring contributions from Chris Brown, Trey Songz, Rick Ross, Janelle Monáe, John Legend, Akon, and Ne-Yo. Did the critics sing her praises? Find out below.
Three years after the release of The Recession, Young Jeezy returns with his latest album TM:103: Hustlerz Ambition, available now. Since then, the landscape of hip-hop has shifted with the rise of artists including Drake, J. Cole, and Big Sean. Does Jeezy still have a place among the current crop of MCs? Find out what the critics had to say about his comeback.
Rihanna doesn’t plan on going anywhere. With her LOUD album still sitting on the charts, the pop princess extends her reign with her sixth album in six years Talk That Talk, available now. Today’s biggest hitmakers including Dr. Luke, Bangladesh, Stargate, The-Dream, Ester Dean, Alex Da Kid, and No I.D. deliver their best on RiRi’s raunchiest record yet. Did she satisfy critics with tracks like the salacious “Cockiness (Love It)” and her chart-topping single “We Found Love”? Find out below.
He achieved commercial success with his 2010 debut Thank Me Later, but that wasn’t enough for Drake. The 25-year-old Canadian rapper-singer digs deeper on his sophomore album Take Care, grappling with fame and pouring out his emotions over the moody collection, with contributions from Rihanna, Stevie Wonder, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, and more. Did he win over critics the second time around? Find out below.