Nicki Minaj’s LP Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded was scheduled to arrive a full week after her pal Madonna‘s new album MDNA, alas the Internet had a different idea in mind. The bikini-loving “Starships” singer‘s latest set of tunes leaked online on Wednesday, ahead of its April 3 drop date, and naturally reviews have begun to trickle in. We decided to round up some of these early assessments, which you can catch after the jump.
:: MTV News feels Nicki deserves her own genre with the new album: “Sure, Nicki is a pop icon, but these days, so are Jay-Z and Lil Wayne. The Young Money superstar refuses to give up any rap ground, however, and the first seven tracks from Roman Reloaded are unapologetically street… Rather than mix hip-hop with her ever-growing pop sensibilities, Nicki presents Roman Reloaded as a two-parter. If cassettes were still the music medium of choice, there’d be a stark contrast between the A and B sides.”
:: Billboard has this to say about the more pop-leaning second half of the LP: “This time around, however, she seems to have her sights set on competing with Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga and Madonna, based on the album’s pop-heavy second half. If you thought her David Guetta single ‘Turn Me On’ was a major departure last summer, get ready for five more songs that sound pretty much exactly like that.”
:: VIBE gives the album a track-by-track review. We’ll just point and choose “Automatic”: “This track automatically screams ‘Top 40.’ It’s safe but quite skip-able.”
:: The Koalition is not impressed: “Now that she has sold well over 2 million albums and 5 million singles, Nicki pretty much has a free pass to do whatever she likes, but as Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded proves; creative freedom isn’t always a good thing… ‘Starships’ is for Katy Perry fans, ‘Pound the Alarm’ is for the Taio Cruz crowd, ‘Whip It’ will appeal to those who still think Pitbull is cool and ‘Marilyn Monroe’ is a typical Rihanna ballad with Nicki Minaj starring as Rihanna. Other songs such as ‘Automatic’, ‘Beautiful Sinner’ and ‘Young Forever’ are so generic and unmemorable that they aren’t even worth writing about.”
:: Yin & Yang is also put off: “Trying to please both sets of fans was a clear goal for this album, and while I do feel that she has crafted material that will achieve this, she has yet to master a way in which it’s not so obvious. Hopefully album 3 will be full of songs that both sets of fans will like rather than designating half an album to each.”
:: Stereogum digs the fact that Minaj has gotten somewhat back to her hip hop roots: “…Nicki totally goes for it, assembling the most impressive run of rap tracks I’ve heard all year… On Roman Reloaded, the puffy sugar pop wave can easily make you forget that the year’s best rap album is in there somewhere, too.”