Top critical review
4 people found this helpful
Don't Like his Voice, but I Do Like the Content
on May 14, 2014
Why did I review the album? Found out about him during a trip to Atlanta and decided to give him a try
Did I like it? Yes
Will I listen again? To some tracks
He’s credited as a singer, but to be honest, I do not think he can sing. He sounds like Chris Brown at times, but Brown is a far better singer.
So, why do I like this album? The content is very appealing. It’s more personal than I expected. He opens up and truthfully gives us the account of his life. He’s made poor decision, but (for the most part) doesn’t make excuses for it.
Even as he talked about his past with drugs I never felt he was using it to exploit, it feels as though he gives an honest account of his experience.
I’m impressed with Alsina and will listen to his work in the future.
3. Make it Home
Overall Rating: 70 with a recommendation to listen then decide
Testimony- There is a lot of content here. He’s talking about the major experiences that have made the man creating this record. He’s battled hurricane Katrina, his father’s drug addiction, and leaving the house after his mother forced him to leave.
One of the things that interests me is his father’s drug addiction and his relationship with drugs later on. I never understood why people that have felt the pains associated with drug addiction (either directly or indirectly) sell drugs to others knowing the effects. It’s always interesting to hear what attracted them to sell. In this case he claims it was his only way to survive at the time. In an interview he claims he stopped after someone smoked crack in front of him. He decided he didn’t want to take part in destroying the lives of others. 4.5/5
Make it Home- Similar to J. Cole Farewell this song almost serves as a living will. Alsina’s made some bad choices in the past and those choices may catch up to him.
Wills are interesting in this regard; they tell you what and who is most important in a particular person’s life.
The beat is simple, but in this case I think it works because it allows the content to remain the main focus. The beat serves a foundation for the lyrics.
This type of song would normally earn a five from me, but Jeezy’s verse isn’t strong enough. 4.5/5
Right There- The first time I heard this song I hated it. I clearly wasn’t paying attention to the lyrics.
He know what it feels like to struggle, but he encourages people to find what you have a passion for and stick with it. Eventually your work will be recognized. How does he know? He’s a living example
Many artists have made songs like this before, this is Alsina’s attempt. 4/5
You Deserve- This scenario has played out in songs one million times before. There is a great girl that is mistreated by someone and the artist tries to get her to notice how much she’s worth.
To Alsina’s credit, he does take a slightly different approach. He believes it won’t work out between them, but that does not matter to Alsina. He cares that she realize her self-worth. So, even if she doesn’t choose him he’ll still support her. 3.5/5
No Love- This song has been done one million times and this time Alsina doesn’t put a spin on it to make it interesting. 2/5
Porn Star-Maybe my expectations for this song were too high, but this song really disappointed me. It had so much potential. It’s rare to hear an R&B or rap song that uses an electric guitar. For most of the song it supports the more obvious pieces of the song. Some might not even notice it’s there because it melts in well. Near the end it gets a solo that I enjoyed thoroughly.
I still like the song, but the lyrics waste an opportunity to make something rare and special. 3/5
FML- I first heard this song on a website and it sounded fine. When I looked it up on other websites the quality was poor. I’m not sure if it’s just my cd, but this version sounds poor as well. I’m going to assume that there is a problem with my cd and assume it sounds normal. To understand what I’m taking about listen to this version of the song and then listen to this one. The vesion I have sounds like the second one?
The song features Pusha T who is rapidly moving up the ranks as one of my favorite rappers to search for when looking for a great verse. He does the same thing I loved about My Name is My Name (read my review of it here). He brags without insulting and gives props to Alsina. I like cars, so I know Alpina is a type of BMW. So, Pusha is sayig Alsina’s a boss or having a nice car at such a young age. The King Tut line is probable a reference to King Push where Pusha relates himself to other notable people, but then reverses and says that the comparisons aren’t quite right because he’s King Push. The Tut line may also be Pusha comparing Alsina to Tut because he has a lot of luxurious toys at a young age. 4/5
Grind and Pray/ Make Your Money- Grind and Pray serves as a good setup because it sets up the background for Get Ya Money. This song is about strippers and the stigma attached to them. To Alsina this stigma is unfair. To him, this is there way of making ends meet until they have a job they want to do. He even sees similarities between the strippers and himself because their hustle is their body while his was crack (and now singing). Either way, both Alsina and the strippers are making money which is important because it allows them to make ends meet.
This song is interesting because usually people rap about a cause when it directly affects them. Alsina’s not a stripper, but he thought it was important enough to write a song that argues against prejudice. I’ve got to respect that. 4/5
Ghetto- This song is repetitive and features Alsina singing. We’ve discussed my feelings concerning his singing already, so I won’t repeat them.2/5
Kissing My Tattoos- I know I just said that he’s not the best singer, but his voice holds up well enough in this song. In At the start he sounds eerily reminiscent of Lyfe Jennings, but ends as the autotune takes over. 3/5
Ah Yeah- This song isn’t as bad as I’m about to make it sound, it’s just a preference issue. I like relatively simple songs where the main instrument compose the entire song (i.e. songs like Pair of Wings by Justin Timberlake or Heaven by Beyonce). I’m okay with very produced sounds if they serve a purpose (see Grow by Rae Morris). The song started with promise, but the added parts don’t add any layers to the song and do not (for me) make the song sound better. So they do nothing more than clutter the song with extra sound. 2/5
Mama- This song is a dedication to his mother. It’s not my favorite thank you/ pay it forward type song, but it is better than most.4/5
Benediction- The religious sound in this song bring back memories of UGK’s Int’l Player’s Anthem,. The upbeat sound hides the dark content contained within. The beginning starts with Alsina using tithing to relate to his drug background. Then comments about his tough background (his testimony) becoming the basis for his album (Testimony). This also works because the things he has let us know through previous songs clue us in on his troubled past. Which would explain why he would want a benediction. This also bring in the role of God in his story and some interesting religious themes. God is seen as kind and loving individual that forgives as long as a person repents of his wrongdoing. One of the major selling points of Christianity is that despite everything that occurs in life, God has a happier life for you down the road. Alsina clearly is repentant of his previous life and the hardships of his childhood. Because of his faith and hard work God has rewarded him with success. So, he wants to take a minute to thank God for his improved life and pray for continued success
I’m impressed with Ross’s verse. He tones down his flamboyance to fit the atmosphere of the song. He starts out on typical Ross fashion, bragging about the usual; wine and women, but he quickly moves to other topics. He even ends of a thankful note paying homage to the men that helped him rise and the fans that continually grant him success. 5/5
I Love This S***- I hate this song. The sound is fine, but the lyrics are atrocious. Alsina’s verse is fine, but the other features do not even make sense. It the perfect single because if you turn your brain off its sounds like a decent song. The electric guitar makes an appearance again. 2/5
Numb- I wouldn’t be surprised if this song debuted as the third single for the album. It has the sound that gets radio play and lyrics that are easy to swallow without much thought. I can’t say I care for it though. 1/5
Solid first album that shows he has room for growth. If i could i'd give it 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fabian @ Rhythmandreviews,blogspot