Akon - Freedom

2009-01-08 11:26
 
Freedom (Universal, 2008)
 
The Senegalese-American hip hop/R&B singer-songwriter first rose to fame back in 2004 following the release of his smash hit single "Locked Up" off his debut album Trouble. The follow-up, Konvicted earned him a Grammy Award nomination for the club booty shaking favourite, "Smack That." Unfortunately, such success seems to have made it difficult for Akon to keep up.

"Right Now (Na Na Na)" may be on high rotation on MTV, but unless you're watching the video in front of you, the pointless lyrics and annoying repletion of "na na na" make this song a big "no no no". While the album boasts a bunch of very catchy songs, the content isn’t that varied. Perhaps this is one reason why he resorts to that urban pop cliché of collaborating with a roll call of other including T-Pain, Lil’ Wayne and Sweet Rush.

So if you are a hardcore Akon fan - and you’d like to stay one - best forget the entire first half of Freedom because the really good stuff is in the middle. "Against the Grain" (featuring Ray Lavender) is like good old Akon. It's catchy, smooth and doesn't feel like he’s trying to prove anything. "Be With You" shows that Akon seems to have also mastered the art of singing loving soppy songs aimed at his lady while executing them in a way that’s still masculine.

Still, it's a pity you have to buy the entire album to enjoy six out of thirteen songs. Then again, that’s what makes digital downloads necessary, doesn't it?


Akon is one of those rare artists who manage to dabble in a bit of R&B, hip-hop and pop, but still maintain his characteristic flair. His ability to lay down a hook seems to catapult any song he touches to number one.

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nish 2009/01/12 10:50 AM
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hmm.. i actually love his entire album.. including the bonus tracks.. Although i couldnt believe how slow it was on the billboard album charts since it's release :( Jamie foxx's album (although also good) even did much better.. On the upside, it seems to be doing better each week.. my fav trax: I'm so paid, Troublemaker, Keep you much longer, Birthmark..
albert 2009/01/19 11:32 AM
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akon i say thank you for ur music for my side i like don't matter & all your songs
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