|You'll be seeing this one more time.|
Last week, I interviewed the first half of Nicki Minaj's Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (see the first two parts here and here), along with the "Beez In the Trap" music video.
Despite my verdict, I found myself re-watching it a couple more times. Probably because it's growing on me--
--But that's not the point! It's time for us to submerge ourselves into the pop section of Nicki Minaj's sophomore album, along with one song from her mid-tempo section.
"Pound the Alarm"Genre: Dance hip-pop
Visual: A nightclub with red colors and Klaxon sirens hanging above. Nicki extending her martini glass to the side while sitting in a comfy chair. People surging the dance floor.
Summary: This song was produced by RedOne, the same person on "Starships" (although it's hard to miss his name drop). Although it's obviously designed as another hit, it doesn't detract from the fact that it just sounds good. It invokes a vague Rihanna vibe.
And it's hard to ignore the cleverness over the "alarm". My little theory is that it's a fire alarm, since Nicki's Barbies danced so much that they set the dance floor ablaze.
It's that kind of lameness that sort of holds it back from gaining all five stars. While the sirens in the chorus and the brief dubstep interlude are obvious dance sections, they could come with a little more oomph.
Song Highlight: The first two lines of the chorus. Their delivery is just golden.
Oh, oh, oh, come fill up my glass a little more!
We're about to burn the floor!
Typical pop lyrics, but the way she draws out those "ore" sounds carries a hooking allure.
"Whip That"Genre: Hip-pop
Visual: A more pink dance floor. Nothing much else except color.
Summary: What's memorable about this track is the fact that Nicki switches voice between the rap verses, the pre-chorus, and the main chorus, going from the rap voice she used in "Starships" to a more childish, innocent voice that makes me want to change that "hey, stranger, over there!" to "hey, Mister, over there!"
It's that kind of whimsical charm, with some more sensual "na na na's" that makes this track stand out.
It otherwise sounds a bit gimmicky. Not to mention she apparently recycled some lyrics in the second verse. Not that most people would mind--except the urban rap crowd she finished catering during the first half.
Song Highlight: See above.
Visual: A train, for some reason. And dance floors, and pink--again.
Summary: Out of the pop songs on this album, this one is the least unique of them all. It sounds good, and can certainly be a single...but there's nothing special about it. It has all the elements of a typical pop song, without deviating far from the formula.
And for some reason, I though this song would be more about guns, since that's a minor motif that popped up.
Not to mention the bridge is too close to the first verse of the next song of the track, which does it much better.
Song Highlight: None.
"Beautiful Sinner"Genre: Pop
Visual: More of a dark red, Nicki singing from a balcony, an art gallery, a stage in front of a dance floor, a ring of candles.
Summary: Out of all the pop songs in this section, this is the most dramatic and darkest of them all, while being the cleanest, strangely. Once the subdued rap verse drops, Nicki assumes a more breathy voice, detailing her attraction for the bad-boy subject.
Then she goes into a wail for the chorus. With has an awesome chord progression.
One thing that I would nitpick about is that it's a bit too melodramatic, considering Nicki's singing standard pop lyrics. Also, I keep mishearing one of the lines as "I love you when I get hot." :p
Song Highlight: These lyrics:
You're a cheat and a liar
But tonight you're everything you desire
Again, melodramatic, but it recalls the bad-boy image with intensity.
(Note: How ironic that all of the song highlights for the pop section are lyrics while the rap section had other stuff besides the lyrics!)
"Marilyn Monroe"Genre: Ballad
Visual: Blue and melancholic colors. A fogged window. Rain on the street. Nicki rising into the clouds. Nicki kneeling on a dark stage, with a single spotlight cast upon her.
Summary: This was the only song that got an emotional stir from me during the first listening. It's the most tasteful out of all of the songs, with a piano hook and bridge, along with a soft, slow beat that frames Nicki's mournful words. It's another lament of fame that isn't hampered by its limited lyrics.
At times, I question the honesty behind the song, but it doesn't detract from the sound. It would've make a great album closer--except the last track ends everything with a bang.
Song Highlight: Besides the shift in the song that precedes it, this gem is glorious:
Call it a curse,
but just call me blessed!
If you can't handle my worst
You ain't gettin' my best!
I think this paraphrase fits Nicki finely. It doesn't has the crassness she displays in her raps, but it sure has her attitude.
Next time, I'll be finishing off reviewing the album. I'm still not sure if I want to review the deluxe edition, but let me know if you want to see all twenty-two tracks reviewed, as opposed to only nineteen.