Review: Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday Roman Reloaded
Published: Friday, April 6, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 16:08
Nicki Minaj’s sophomore release, “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded,” is a mosaic featuring bombastic beats, an odd obsession with the color pink and thinly-veiled, highly inappropriate sexual innuendo.
The album, boasting more than 40 writers and producers, avoids the pitfalls that fellow Top 40 artists often fall into: the blatantly formulaic sound that appeals to the masses but robs the music of any sort of personality, individuality or quality.
That being said, this album is bizarre.
The intro song, “Roman Holiday,” highlights a remarkably terrible, pitchy-sounding British accent, squealing the chorus over and over again. The song is only saved by Minaj’s rapping, which is surprisingly proficient, and harkens back to Lil’ Kim.
However, Minaj’s persona gets in her way frequently, causing her to constantly revert back to the wacky routine, as opposed to the talented musician state-of-mind that shows its head all too infrequently.
The attempt by Minaj, born Onika Tanya Maraj, to be cutting edge, acts as a detriment to the musical ability that she undoubtedly possesses. Tracks like “Beez in The Trap,” “Sex in the Lounge” and the aforementioned “Come on a Cone” lack club ap¬peal, catchy hooks or cleverness that, oddly enough, is possessed in very few songs on the album.
In a semi-desperate quest to find a song that appealed to me, I came upon the track “Marilyn Monroe.” The desperation of my quest was only surpassed by Minaj’s various attempts to draw comparisons between herself and Marilyn Monroe.
Despite the poor attempts at this, the song is catchy enough. And depending on just where you frequent on, say, a Friday night, this song will soon be pumped in your head somewhere between three and five times over the course of two hours.
One of the major themes on “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded” is Roman. Whether Roman is a person, a concept, a persona or the empire/republic, Minaj’s failure to define this entity known as Roman is parallel with the failure to better-define her album. Is it a rock opera? Is it trying to tell a story? Or is it trying to be a collection of singles with no motive other than being the soundtrack to a girls’ night out, where phrases like “No regrets” and “this is my life” repeated ad nauseam?
Nicki Minaj’s “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded” is not a train wreck. It’s a mid-life crisis of a late-20’s pop star attempting to show that she is more than meets the eye. Its role is never defined, and it lacks the shake-your-ass singles that artists like Katy Perry, Rihanna or Lady Gaga bring anytime they release a track.