Album Review: Nicki Minaj - Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (Deluxe Edition)

29 May 2012 | 7:05 pm | Carlin Beattie

Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded was always going to be a statement album, and a large affair.

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While Nicki Minaj's commercial accessibility has only recently bloomed over the past two years, the Trinidad & Tobago native and New York-raised musician has always presented a genuine sparkle and glow beneath the surface of her various mixtape releases; a shining presence that has long alluded to a truly interesting and lucrative future for her music.

As a guest performer, Minaj has proven a bankable investment for not only delivering a hit single, but also outshining industry heavyweights, who no more than half-a-decade ago may well have been asking, “Nicki Who?” Now, with her second studio album, Minaj has let loose the chains and unleashed the beast from her innermost musical aspirations. Where Pink Friday (2010) left off, Roman Reloaded pushes the dials beyond ten, and maintains a powerful, mad and eccentric creative energy for the great percentage of the record – no mean feat, given the album's 22 song (or 75-minute) tracklisting.

Essentially presented in two distinct halves, Roman Reloaded might have initially been planned to feature as two separate releases, with the first half-hour clearly more rap and hip hop heavy than the contrasting pop and dance tunes later in play. With this said however, the very nature of Minaj's all or nothing persona, and the album title itself suggests that Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded was always going to be a statement album, and a large affair.

It's an eclectic listen that succeeds in punching out smart hooks and catchy melodies, and while not every song here hits the nail on the head, there's something for everybody – and a great expectation for more to follow.

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