Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cole World: Sideline Story - Review

The anticipation of this album has had me wanting to do a review of this for a while. With a lot of naysayers saying Cole isn't important any more, he took to long with this album...people are going to be very critical of my review. But i don't care what they say and clearly Grown Simba isn't paying them any mind either.
With this album Cole takes on a different style than what has been seen on his mixtapes. The production of the tracks are a mix of The Warm-Up and Friday Night Lights with Lights Please (The Warm-Up) and In the Morning [Feat. Drake] (Friday Night Lights) making the album. But the album does keep his usual toughness (not as in thugness but attacking the beat) and honesty on every track.

The lead single Work Out didn't really work out for me but it was strictly aimed for the radio. The follow up single Can't Get Enough [Feat. Trey Songz] is a radio-esque track but it should've led the album as single instead. Cole starts the album with the appropriately titled Dollar and A Dream III. This track sets the album up for the story that you are about to listen to. He has 2 title tracks, Sideline Story and Cole World which tells how you just got to get in the game and then let the game know that you are here respectively. He produced both as he did most of the album. The most anticipated track is Mr. Nice Watch [Feat. JAY-Z] which people were expecting to be the passing of the torch song. A Star Is Born off "Blueprint 3" was the passing of the torch song. This is a "I'm here and my boss/mentor has just confirmed it" track. The standouts on this album are Nobody's Perfect [Feat. Missy Elliot] and the No-ID produced Never Told. The soulfulness of these tracks draws you into the tracks especially when you have the amazing Missy Elliot singing on one of the tracks. Rise and Shine, Lost Ones, God's Gift, Breakdown and the iTunes bonus track Daddy's Little Girl give the album even more diversity with God's Gift being the affirmation that J. Cole is here. Breakdown, Lost Ones and Daddy's Little Girl are those tracks that make you think and relate to you if you have been or know someone who has gone through it. Overall, the wait was well worth it as J. Cole keeps doing what got him to where he is but he steps a little bit to attract new fans and it works for him.

Grade: B+

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