Album Review: Akon - Freedom

Posted by Mack of Sound-Savvy On 1:20 AM

Artist: Akon
Album: Freedom
Release Date: 12.2.08

Let me preface this by saying this is my first time listening to an Akon album in it's entirety so this review isn't comparing it to any of his previous work. Akon is actually a decent artist, this album breaks genre restrictions and really attempts to broaden his worldwide appeal. Although it’s really hard to get past his annoying voice, some of his music is worth the listen.

This album is very versatile, it kicks off with some very pop styled dance tracks, like Right Now (Na Na Na) and Beautiful featuring Colby O'Donis and Kardinal Offishall; both of which achieve something totally unexpected from Akon - a sound with international pop appeal. While the music on certain tracks is good, I think the CD would be even better by someone with better vocals. He's actually out sung on one of the album's standout tracks, Against The Grain, by its collaborator Ray Lavender. Hip-hop's presence on the album is felt on the swagger-boasting I'm So Paid, which features Young Jeezy and Lil' Wayne. Other highlights for me include the autobiographical title track Freedom and the equally introspective Over The Edge.

There are a few attempts on this album that aren't as great as the aforementioned. Keep You Much Longer is a fitting example, the annoying repetitive hook made me cringe by the time the track hit the 3-minute mark. Holla Holla, his collaboration with T-Pain is the unfortunate product of too much augmentation on the vocals; translation: put the vocoder down!! On top of that, the nasal tone of Akon's singing just gets to be a bit much periodically.

I can really only take Akon’s voice in small doses, and like I previously stated, producing is enough - he should let someone else sing. I mean, come on... there's only so much he can do without sounding like a wounded chipmunk. Still, on the few tracks that work for him, he really brings it home. I like the fact that he isn't limiting himself to any particular genre, he's doing something most artists aren't doing these days: expanding into uncharted territory. But the fact remains, if you're expanding into new areas, you've gotta have the talent to keep you there.


1 Comment

  1. lol @ wounded chipmunk, i concur.

    Posted on December 14, 2008 at 8:37 PM


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