Reviews

Sep
27
Review Roundup: J. Cole – ‘Cole World: The Sideline Story’

Cole World: The Sideline Story

After a two-year wait and mounting expectations, Jay-Z’s 26-year-old protégé J. Cole gets off the bench and steps into the spotlight with his Roc Nation debut Cole World: The Sideline Story, in stores today. The North Carolina MC assembles an all-star team of talent including Jay-Z, Missy Elliott, Drake, and Trey Songz on the 16 tracks. Does the hip-hop freshman have what it takes to play in the big leagues? The critics weigh in.

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Aug
30
Review Roundup: Lil Wayne – ‘Tha Carter IV’

Tha Carter IV

Lil Wayne puts on his graduation cap and marches into stores with Tha Carter IV, the follow-up to 2008’s multi-platinum Tha Carter III. The Young Money captain unleashes his long-awaited ninth album with help from Drake, Rick Ross, André 3000, John Legend, Nas, and more, who fill out the 15 tracks on the standard edition. After years of anticipation and several delays, did C4 live up to the hype or fall short? The reviews are in.

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Aug
25
Review Roundup: Game – ‘The R.E.D. Album’

The R.E.D. Album

There’s never a dull moment when it comes to Game. Whether he’s calling out his peers on his fiery record “Uncle Otis” or crashing the L.A. Sheriff’s phone lines with a tweet, he never fails to entertain. But the Compton MC puts aside the shenanigans and drops his fourth LP The R.E.D. Album in stores this week. The long-delayed effort features heavy hitters including Dr. Dre, Lil Wayne, Drake, Chris Brown, Young Jeezy, and Nelly Furtado. Did Game represent for the West Coast? Find out what the critics are saying.

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Aug
15
Concert Review: Beyoncé Reigns at Roseland Ballroom

Beyoncé

“Tonight, I want to tell you guys my story,” Beyoncé divulged to a sold-out crowd at New York’s Roseland Ballroom last night. The 90-minute, guest-free show, the first of four this week, found the 29-year-old diva splitting the difference between hushed torch singer and stadium belter, running through a 30-minute revue of her greatest hits before performing virtually all of 4, her latest album released earlier this year.

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Aug
9
Review Roundup: Jay-Z & Kanye West – ‘Watch the Throne’

Watch the Throne

Like a kid on Christmas morning, hip-hop fans rushed to iTunes to download Jay-Z and Kanye West’s blockbuster album Watch the Throne as soon as it went on sale Sunday night. The hip-hop kings assembled a royal lineup of collaborators including Beyoncé, Frank Ocean, The RZA, Swizz Beatz, The Neptunes, Q-Tip, and more to create the year’s biggest rap release. But was it able to live up to all the hype? The reviews are in.

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Jul
26
Review Roundup: Kelly Rowland – ‘Here I Am’

Here I Am

Kelly Rowland forges her own path with her third solo album Here I Am, hitting stores today. The Destiny’s Child diva calls upon hitmakers Rico Love, Tricky Stewart, Jim Jonsin, Rodney Jerkins, and RedOne, as well as Big Sean (“Lay It on Me”) and Lil Wayne (“Motivation”) for the collection of R&B-dance tracks. Did Kelly sing her way into the good graces of her critics? Find out below.

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Jul
5
Review Roundup: Lloyd – ‘King of Hearts’

King of Hearts

Lloyd aims for the crown with King of Hearts, his fourth album and first since 2008’s Lesson in Love, boasting a royal lineup including André 3000, R. Kelly, Chris Brown, Trey Songz, and Keri Hilson. The smooth operator and executive producer Polow Da Don craft a star-studded set featuring everything from the hilariously raunchy “Dedication to My Ex (Miss That)” to the politically-minded “World Cry.” Did he deliver a winning hand? Find out below.

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