By Trevon Nesbit
Western Sun staff writer
Nicki Minaj explores even more sounds and personas on her sophomore effort “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded.”
Old fans will relish in the hard hitting hip-hop cuts on the first half of the album, while her newer Top 40’s followers will delight in the more radio friendly yet unimaginative and somewhat boring pop sounds on the latter half. With polished hop-hop, R&B, and pop sound and clever lyrics that expand on Minaj’s previous motifs, “Roman Reloaded” is a mostly enjoyable, bipolar departure from her debut disc, “Pink Friday,” that sees the rapper pushing her boundaries to encompass both R&B and pop.
The disc opens with the theatrical “Roman Holiday” which features Minaj’s cold and blunt alter ego “Roman” battling with his mother “Martha” who sings in a whiny, high pitched voice sure to cause a headache to many. The whole ordeal of character voices, hard-hitting verses, and not to mention a random bridge of “come all ye faithful” is a little bit overwhelming and will just leave you confused.
Next comes a string of heavy hip-hop beats that brings Nicki back to her hood roots. “Come on a Cone” is fully devoted to the rapper bragging about her successes and sales while she takes even more shots at her competitors on “HOV Lane” and “I Am Your Leader.”
After a couple pleasant R&B tracks, comes a sharp turn to full on pop songs that’s sure to baffle many. While some do feature Minaj balancing rapping and singing with club ready beats, such as “Pound The Alarm” and “Whip it,” most feature lackluster lyrics and vocals not even worthy of pop princesses like Britney Spears or Rihanna.