It’s not due until February, but following an Amazon mishap, Lil Wayne‘s sojourn into rock, Rebirth, was unleashed late last night (Dec 16). Check out the highlights and lowlights of the highly anticipated effort.
☺ “Drop The World” – The ultimate highlight of this entire rock album gone left saves it from falling off a cliff. Between the brilliant loud-quiet-loud complexity of the production (Chase N. Cashe and Hit-Boy) and Eminem‘s trademark angst, the song breathes on its own.
☺ “Knockout” – You might heart this if you’re into ’90s California post-punk. The star is Nicki Minaj, who swoons past the gorgeously melodic guitar rhythms with her sweet Black Kim Deal schtick. Eventually, she goes for the jugular with a fiery lyrical delivery that’s sadly dampened by a potty-mouth.
☺ “Da Da Da” – Even on third listen, you have to appreciate its depth of artistic bravery, as Wayne sings: “I know you want me/Give me that monkey/that funky monkey.”
☺ “Paradice” – Embodies the pop rock we sorely miss from yesteryear: the necessary arena ballad. Sure, we have no idea what Wayne is talking about, but who cares? His painfully caroled point is clear: “This ain’t paradise.”
☺ “Runnin” – Wayne salvages his dignity with the all-important introspective cut. But once again, girl-power rules thanks to Young Money member Shanell‘s near perfect vocal belts.
☠ “Get A Life” – Before going any further, let’s cut Wayne some slack. If Rivers Cuomo or Billie Joe Armstrong attempted to do something with this track, no one would gasp. Unfortunately, it’s Weezy. And for some reason, we don’t believe him. He needs more people.
☠ “Ground Zero” – Wayne tiptoes into death metal…literally. “Let’s jump out a window!” he thoughtfully suggests (Let’s not). “I got a lot of drugs I could just share.” Disclaimer: Just say “no” kids.
☠ “American Star” – Wayne graphically proves why it doesn’t make sense to use Auto-Tune to passionately rhyme (sing?) about being a dope boy with a guitar.
☠ “The Price Is Wrong” – Wayne riffs on a chick he dated who left him for a guy named “Michael.” The track could have sufficed if it accomplished what seemed to be its original intent: heavy, classic-forged punk. Instead, it sounds like a rich-boy skateboard pseudo-punk post millennium noise that killed radio, rock mags, music videos… —Linda Hobbs