Friday, November 26, 2010

Review: Nicki Minaj- Pink Friday

All Kanye, all the time.

Kanye West has dominated discussion among my music-oriented friends and within the There Stands the Glass compound all week. I can't remember the last time everyone seemed to be simultaneously obsessing over the same artist.

A couple friends, S. and C., suggested that I find time to give Nicki Minaj's new album a chance. I was skeptical, not because she looks like this, but because she failed to impress me both times I've seen her perform with the Young Money crew.

Even so, Minaj's features on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy are excellent. And her album proves that those flashes of greatness aren't flukes. While Pink Friday isn't as ambitious as MBDTF, the extremely entertaining project contains the same sort of game-changing pop thrills as Gwen Stefani's 2004 solo debut.

Just as Minaj assumes different personas in its songs, Pink Friday's sound constantly changes. During "Blazin'," which samples the Simple Minds' "Don't You (Forget About Me)," Minaj references heroin and West name-drops Nolan Ryan. I don't get it either, but I love it. The hit "Your Love," on the other hand, is a straightforward throwback to mid-60s Motown-style pop.

It's not all nice. The extreme raunch and rage of "Roman's Revenge" overwhelms me. Why is Eminem so angry, anyway? Similarly, the presence of and the apparent adversary of this site (rhymes with "steak") is annoying. The first time I hear these songs in a club setting, however, I'll probably come around.

While Pink Friday is not quite in the same league as MBDTF, it's at least as noteworthy as anyone has a right to expect from the long-overdue comeback album by the great Missy Elliott.

Yet another Kanye West enthusiast, Joel Francis, previews Friday's Black Friday jazz-meets-hip hop concert.

Kansas City Click: Mac Lethal returns to the Riot Room on Friday.

My favorite Usher song will undoubtedly be on the set list of Saturday's concert at Sprint Center.

Myra Taylor and the Wild Women of Kansas City perform at Jardine's on Sunday.

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)

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