So here's what I thought of BP3, track by track. Reviews are brief, and I'll let ya know if something grows on me. Highest score of course is a 5.
1. What we talkin about
Epic synths start the album off as Jay-z flows about his past and present problems. Hook is questionable to me, too anti-climactic.
2. Thank You
Nice bass groove smooth trumpet samples. Jay is Jay. Bassline steals the show for me
Of course already heard this, production value is through the roof.
4. Run this town
Yea, yea. Epic anthem that builds up to the Ye verse (not as ill lyrically as some say)
5. Empire State of Mind
Quirky drum beat. Alicia come through with a powerful hook, you can almost feel the giant NY skyscrappers as she blows. Big ups on the Texas shout out! Alicia > Jigga on this one.
6. Real as it Gets
Was like, whos this n*gga talkin on tha intro? Oh.... its Jeezy. Sounds like a different mix than usual on Jeezys voice, and whats up wit tha naughty by nature shit on tha hook? Production-wise its another epic beat, filled with live strings, smooth guitar, and groovy bassline.
7. On to the Next One
Damn I love some Swizzy! Vocal sample with straightforward drums. I coulda done with a little more bass and a faster tempo. Jay-z lyrics didnt really grab me on this minimal beat. A lil dissapointed in Swizz here.
8. Off That
Timbo tha king! Intro is a damn fool. I'm feelin J's rhyme scheme on V1. Drizzy, not so much. Obama lines gettin a little redundant, we all saw the election Jigga. Just good to hear the new stuff timbalands got in the stable for 2010, he's bout to own....again.
9. Star is Born
Jay-z reflects over the players in the game from back when he started. Of course he shouts the two illest lyrcist IMO (Andre 3000, and Nas). Track hinges on piano line.
10. Venus vs Mars
Takes just a sec to know Timbo's back for another one. This time he brings some darker production. Sexy hook with a nice bridge
11. Already Home
Kid Cudi comes in with his signature melodic style on hook. Not his best work, I'm expecting that next week with Man on the Moon. Violin sample dominates along with strong 808. Chord progression is a little wierd, takes some getting used to. Jigga bragadocio as usual. "Do you already/ enough with the complaining Boo Hoo already" might be my fav line so far.
Jay and Ye trade battle lines accompained by vocal (autotune?) line. Slow deliberate beat
Your head automatically falls into the bounce Timbo provides. K Briscoe takes a stab at a sub-par hook. Jay's lyrics steal the show.
14. So Ambitous
Pharrel familiar falsetto sets up this minimal beat. The drum fill is nicely aided by spanish horn stabs. My fav subject matter on this one.
15. Forever Young ft Mr Hudson
Slow synth chords serve as the prelude to the finale. Mr Hudson recognizable voice handles the chorus as Jay relaxesthe listener with a laid back flow. Feels like a tears for fears song to me. Track ends abruptly to my surprise....Too bad
Well the album definately has high production value, but what do you expect for the man at this point? Although theres some interesting attempts here, I never really felt like Jay was out of his comfort zone, making for a uniform sound lyrically from him. I think Timbo has the best contributions to the album,. I can't help but wish Jay would go back to the American Gangster formula, using his enormous pull and resources to make concept albums. That way he doesnt have to try and stay relevant, but only paint a picture for the listener to explore. Well that's not BP3, so I guess ill keep waiting.