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Freedom

66 customer reviews

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Audio CD, December 2, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Multi-platinum singer, songwriter, producer, Akon burst out of the starting gates with the winningly melodic and compulsively danceable single "Right Now (Na Na Na)." The song is sparking up the charts in a record-setting pace that's familiar to Akon's millions of fans worldwide and it is the lead track from Akon's third album, Freedom. The infectious song is the #1 Most Added at Rhythm Crossover radio stations in its first week of release. Freedom features collaborations with Hip-Hop's "man of the hour" Lil Wayne ("I'm So Paid") and Akon's platinum artist T-Pain ("Holla Holla"). Akon broke out on the music scene in 2004 with the platinum album Trouble that featured singles, "Locked Up" and "Lonely."

About the Artist

The versatile musical dichotomy is always at the heart of each Akon album. It could be a metaphor for the man himself. On one hand there is an extrovert whose tireless devotion is entertaining crowds and fan interaction has caused both adorations and misunderstandings. On the other, a serious businessman who has quickly built an empire that includes a record label, fashion line and charity foundation. In short, an open artist who regrets nothing, but constantly is learning from past experiences.

"I'm a lot more conscious than on my first few albums," says the singer. "I have a lot of kids that follow me now, so I have to be responsible to those who listen to my music. On [my debut album] Trouble, that wasn't even a concern because it was about who I was and what I been through. Now I have fans that actually look up to me and follow me, so I'm really watching the content I put on my records."

What hasn't changed about Akon is his willingness to discuss his personality and past. "I always felt like people need to know who I am and what my history is," he says. "That's why I'm always wide open with everything that happened with me. As much as people support me, I want them to know who they're supporting."

There are two moments on the highly anticipated third album titled Freedom, from Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum artist Akon, that are strikingly different. On "Freedom," the titular track, African melodies and marching drums build up in a brooding anthem that is both glorious and exultant. The autobiographical track is arguably the singer's most powerful statement to date, as the song crescendos, church-like, to its rousing conclusion.

Elsewhere, "Keep you Much Longer" tells the story of a successful singer who gets the tables turned when his girlfriend embarks on a career of her own. An insistent rhythm with a merciless 4/4 beat, the dance floor filler seems destined to explode in clubs all over the world. As the singer, once again, displays his impressive vocal range, the track is an updated piece of classic house music.

The 13 tracks on Freedom show a marked growth in the singer/producer's career, exemplifying the more dance-friendly side of the artist. Not to be mistaken: Akon hasn't abandoned his hip-pop and R&B roots, as the album features guest spots by Lil Wayne, T-Pain, Young Jeezy, Kardinal Offishall, Ray Lavender and Wyclef Jean. But tracks like "Troublemaker" and "We Don't Care" are set to blow up dance floors, with the former a dance record made "purely for fun" and the latter riding a chugging, arpeggiated synth and disco groove that would make Giorgio Moroder proud.

"The key is to take it from the dark side and into the light," explains the singer of the album's vibe. "I'm not gonna be miserable, preachy and unhappy forever. Of course, when you first come out from doing time, you're excited about being free and want to teach everybody what you've learned. But it's like with the name Konvict Entertainment [Akon's record label]. "I always use the name as a reminder of where I don't want to be. It was always for a positive purpose, but some people were falsely translating my message. Just because you presume something a certain way doesn't mean it's necessarily that way. You gotta take the time and get fully educated about it, then judge for yourself. I know people have preconceived notions about me. I'm not who they think I am."

2009 is shaping up to be the biggest year of Akon's career. In addition to his own album, the Konvict CEO is prepping releases for T-Pain, Lady Gaga, Kardinal Offishal, Flipsyde Dolla and Colby O'Donis. His fashion line, Konvict and Aliaune Clothing, is set to launch in January. Finally, Konfidence Foundation, the charity Akon has personally funded for four years, has teamed up with songwriter/philanthropist Peter Buffett to launch IsThereSomethingICanDo.com, a Google of sorts for charitable foundations. (An elementary school in the singer's home country of Senegal has already been built, with a hospital being developed.)

It's easy to get complacent when you achieve the level of success Akon has. With worldwide sales of over 7 million albums, certified gold and platinum status in over 23 countries, hundreds of guest appearances (including a collaboration with Michael Jackson), and the record for the first artist to have the #1 and 2 songs simultaneously on the Billboard charts twice, you'd be forgiven for allowing Akon to lean back. But, to quote the singer himself, "The more successful I get, the harder I work to keep it."

This work ethic was ingrained in the singer at an early age by his father, famed percussionist Mor Thiam. While being raised in Senegal, Akon would take all the percussion lessons taught by his father while simultaneously studying the violin and keyboard. Upon moving back to the states and later settling in Atlanta, the producer opened up some recording studios as an investment, but quickly found an urge to create music of his own. After doing time, the singer used those experiences as the basis for Trouble, his 2004 debut album which would eventually sell over 2 million copies. 2006 saw the release of the follow-up Konvicted, which, with the help of now-ubiquitous songs "Smack That," "I Wanna Love You," and "Don't Matter" sold over 3 million copies.

"In my heart, I'm the same exact person I was in 2004, the only difference is I've grown a lot, I'm just a more mature man," admits the singer. "I've learned from my mistakes. I've apologized and corrected them today. At this point, some would say the success is here, relax, but I realize I still need to make the best music possible to capture your attention. If I can accomplish 10% of what I want to do, I might be almost satisfied."


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
  1. Right Now (Na Na Na)Akon 4:01$1.29  Buy MP3 
  2. Beautiful (Album Version) [feat. Colby O'Donis]Akon and Colby O'Donis and Kardinal Offishall 5:13$1.29  Buy MP3 
  3. Keep You Much Longer (Album Version)Akon 4:21$1.29  Buy MP3 
  4. Troublemaker [feat. Sweet Rush] [Clean]Akon and Sweet Rush 3:57$1.29  Buy MP3 
  5. We Don't Care (Album Version)Akon 4:16$1.29  Buy MP3 
  6. I'm So Paid [feat. Young Jeezy] [Clean]Akon and Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy 4:23$1.29  Buy MP3 
  7. Holla Holla (Album Version) [feat. T-Pain] [Clean]Akon and T-Pain 3:00$1.29  Buy MP3 
  8. Against The Grain (Album Version) [feat. Ray Lavender]Akon and Ray Lavender 4:04$1.29  Buy MP3 
  9. Be With You (Album Version)Akon 3:51$1.29  Buy MP3 
10. Sunny Day (Album Version) [feat. Wyclef Jean]Akon and Wyclef Jean 5:12$1.29  Buy MP3 
11. Birthmark (Album Version)Akon 4:23$1.29  Buy MP3 
12. Over The Edge (Album Version)Akon 4:27$1.29  Buy MP3 
13. Freedom (Album Version)Akon 4:14$1.29  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 2, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: SRC
  • ASIN: B001IBCSGY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,011 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Alan Huynh on December 2, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Akon has grown with each new album release, while his sound has evolved to the satisfaction and dissatisfaction of his fans, Freedom will no doubt be remembered as the turning point in Akon's career where he evolves from a hip hop artist to a bonafide entertainer.

Freedom does not contain the harsh or explicit lyrics found in "I Still Kill" or the infamous "I Want to **** You" Instead the album is filled with sounds familiar to "Put the Blame on Me" which was lyrically powered rather than over the top production.

That does not mean there are no upbeat club hits on this album, Troublemaker and Beautiful will keep everyone on the dance floor moving. Akon's previous love ballad "Don't Matter" is replaced with a lyrically driven "Be With You" that possess a crisper production that will no doubt lead to some slower sensual dance moves when the DJ decides to spin the track.

The released singles Right Now and I'm So Paid are great but are drastically different. Freedom plays with this contrast in sound by providing many catchy radio friendly songs that are subtly different but possess deeper lyrics than found in past Akon albums.

With all the radio friendly songs you'll find yourself humming to many of these songs during the day, therefore, making it buy you won't regret this holiday season.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. Ottersboeck on December 9, 2008
Format: Audio CD
It's kinda sad to admit that "johnknapik" is right! Akon has moved into a direction many of his long-time fans will not appreciate.

In his first two CDs he concentrated on HipHop heavy beats and songs about Life&struggle&love, where his unique voice really had its place. But currently Akon has moved to Pop-Dancefloor beats and sing-along love songs which kinda doesn't seem right...

Of course the songs are very catchy, but I don't expect that kind of music from Akon. Sorry, but I'll skip this one and wait for Akon to find back to form (same is true for Kanye and Common).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ChildInside on February 11, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I discovered Akon after listening to 'Lonely' for the first time from his Trouble album and I was intrigued. I continued listening to him on and off afterwards and while I counted him as one of the better rappers, I admit that I didn't like him completely.

With this album, things changed, however. This is among the best album I have ever heard.

More than anything else, I believe I can contribute my love of the album to the fact that it's practically an entire album of love songs. It's not that I'm addicted to love songs, but Akon seems to have a knack for singing really good love song (I had loved his all of his previous love songs). Furthermore, another really important thing that added to this album is that almost every single track is something you can really dance to. The entire album consists of songs that would do extremely well on radio/TV (something which the vast majority of albums can't claim).

Truthfully, the album was not something I had expected from a rap artist like Akon. I had expected, well, a rap album, but 'Freedom' isn't really a rap album. The songs here fits more into the 'techno/dance' category. One would think it would be highly difficult for a rap artist to make such a transition, but Akon does it *beautifully*.

Almost every song in the album contains catchy music, good lyrics, and importantly, they don't all sound alike. The moment a song begins, you can tell instantly what track it is simply because the music is that distinct.

Ultimately, let me get to the point: This is Akon's best album so far and one of the finest albums from any artists I've heard. For those thinking of purchasing the album, spend the money, and fall in love with such solid tracks as Right Na Na Na, Beautiful, Keep You Much Longer, Be With You, and Sunny Day. The album is worth every single penny and I hope to see such quality from Akon in the future.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John J. Knapik on December 8, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Akon's sound was steeped in hip-hop beats and edgy lyrics. Freedom is a departure from that sound into a realm of artists that your mother would enjoy (Seal, Leona Lewis). Freedom isn't bad, it just isn't the least bit compelling. This is very watered-down R&B that is sure to cross over to the pop charts...and don't be surprised if you hear Akon on your mom's Mix station.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D-man on December 18, 2008
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I've always enjoyed most of Akon's collaborations with other artists, but I've rarely thought he had a solid enough list of songs compelling enough to buy any of his previous albums. Freedom is different ... and his best yet. It's not as graphic as perhaps the "explicit" label suggests, but it's very listenable for adults who like hip-hop and rap that isn't pure hardcore anger. Seems as if Akon's been trying to lighten up a little, and he has with this song mix which recount more stories of love, lust, and life stories than anything. I respect his recognition of Katherine Dunham on the track Freedom too. Give it a try, you'll like it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. Banks on December 12, 2008
Format: MP3 Music
I really think Akon's music has been improving every year from when he made Ghetto up to making Right Now, Freedom, Troublemaker and much more. He really has great talent and through his music he has shown how much he really expresses his life. I hope he keeps going.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Elvis on November 11, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Akon has never had a better album, this is truly the best for summer type music. It's completely different from the first Konvict albums, it's my favorite and I am a critical music critic!
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the most annoying song!!!
Well it's just not the music you like. I personally think this is a great song and srry u don't like it. some people like me like this type of music.
Nov 27, 2008 by MarioKartWii3000 |  See all 5 posts
Nice album Be the first to reply
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