Nicki Minaj/Far East Movement
Aftermath of The E.N.D.
Nicki Minaj: Pink Friday (Young Money/Cash Money)
Not only are those not her breasts, at least not the ones her biologicals gave her, but her hair isn't really pink or, wink wink, straight. Not only is the quick-lipped hoyden of the year all "Young Money, Cash Money, yeah I'm Universal" with every upper-case except the "I" discretionary, but she's consorting with Natasha Bedingfield and reminding will.i.am how he did it. Half rapping and half singing, half bragging and half kowtowing, brazening a "punt" rhyme here and proclaiming commonality with "girls that never thought they could win" there, she's proud to be shameless, with the hooks to back it up. She knows well the presumably stolen words of her male collaborator-counterpart Drake: "Everybody dies but not everybody lives." And damn right she calls this living. A
Far East Movement: Free Wired (Cherrytree/Interscope)
If everything here had the propulsion of "Like a G6," this would be 2010's answer to The E.N.D.., forget the more likely-seeming candidate. Instead, a one-hit wonder their tribute to the Gulfstream 65 jet will remain. The other nine three-minute songs are more like little Fokkers‑-party-ready, Auto-Tuned electrohop whose disposable superficiality is an aesthetic principle and whose guest list is a reality show waiting to happen. R. Tedder of One Republic and S. Dogg of Faux Murder LLC? In this context, they could be the same dude. Not so Keri Hilson or Kate Pierson, however. In the morning, they remain hard-working Asian-American lads who respect their mothers. B PLUS
Her rival Lil Kim may keep belittling her (of course a futile ploy to promote her forthcoming album). but surely Nicki will emerge unscathed. Unlike a few detractors, I really got into her slow melodies since they have such a bouncy vibe to it. Favorite ones are Roman's Revenge (biting), Moment 4 life and Your Love (soft and reassuring) and Blazing and Did it on them (no-holds barred).
Mediafire has a BARBIE WORLD link up that's working fine for me, and it's free. Again, I can't post the link, but just Google the mixtape title and hunt for it--it's just a page or so away at furthest.
No comment on Monae. Too showbizzy, perhaps? She's more interesting by a mile, I think, than Eminem.
Anyway, Happy New Year to you all and may you play all A+ tracks tonight! Robert, thanks for all the insights over the years (especially, thanks for always tracking Gramps, Stampfel, Swamp Dogg, Ralph Carney, Charlie Burton--that guy needs some encouragement right about now--and those quiet originals swimming against the current; don't forget about Marshall Chapman and Pierced Arrows, the latter formerly known as Dead Moon!) and may you never give up pursuing them. I am sure I speak for at least most of us when I'm honored to get a written-to-order Honorable Mention!
Fellas--this isn't gonna happen often--writing Honorable Mentions, of which neither of these is a prime example, is a habit I'm succeeding in breaking, just finally put that not-bad Wavves album away after far too many plays. But these were on hand and I thought under the circumstances I'd share. I think Dook of the Beatniks is far better than either myself.
Peter Stampfel & Baby Gramps, Outertainment (Red Newt '10): "way over a century of knowledge of American music, way over a century's common ground," but also, "I enjoy the possibility of going nuts" ("Bar Bar," "Ghost Train of Freak Mountain"); ***
Peter and Zoë Stampfel, **** in the Air (Jolly Olga): the new originals are precious, the remakes worth the reminder ("Demon in the Ground," "We're Still Here"); ***
I know we're getting off the topic, but that "Outertainment" album that Phil referred me to has satisfied me to no end, and that's from listening to just 10 of the 16 tracks that Rhapsody allows me to hear. So, unless the other six are duds, and I doubt they are with these proven artists, this may be another 'Have Moicy!'. And it has Robert Christgau written all over it: messy, cerebral, quirky but tuneful, fun folk songs. Thanks, Phil!
But let's go back to Pink Friday, which I'm having trouble getting to click, but, knowing the Dean, it'll happen sometime.
On topic; I will listen to Pink Friday when the opportunity arises.
about the blogger
Starting in 1967, Robert Christgau has covered popular music for The Village Voice, Esquire, Blender, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and many other publications. He teaches in New York University's Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, maintains a comprehensive website at robertchristgau.com, and has published five books based on his journalism. He has written for MSN Music since 2006.
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