I usually don't like Jay Z near as much as the next guy, but I like his new album so far. I'm up to like track 8. It's more "grown up" than his passed ones. He stepped outside the box a bit from the normal rap formula. Here's Yahoo Music's review
Jay-Z's return revealed
11/09/2006 3:00 PM, Yahoo! Music
Jay-Z makes his long-awaited return to the world of rap later this month and this week Yahoo! Music was one of a select few to hear Kingdom Come.
Below we present a blow-by-blow account of Kingdom Come, which features guest appearances and production from Chris Martin, Kanye West, Usher, Dr. Dre, and Beyonce, among many others.
"Prelude" (produced by Ghettobot)
Intro'd by Pain In Da , known for vocal s***s on earlier Jay-Z records, this is a fine opening salvo with Hova's wordplay customarily quick--he runs a lovely set of puns around the figure "38" referencing his next birthday, gun, and rims. Perfect.
"Oh My God" (produced by Just Blaze)
Apparently delivered just hours before a deadline seemingly imposed by Jay's target of releasing on the 10th anniversary of Reasonable Doubt, rather than sounding rushed, it comes across as incredibly urgent as horns and screaming soul samples are bent to the will of the sampler for pure sonic bravado.
"Kingdom Come" (produced by Just Blaze)
The title track started life as a hastily compiled beat for Just Blaze's MySpace page, chopping up the unlikely choice of Rick James's "Super Freak"--generally considered cursed after forming the foundation of MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This." Apparently ?uestlove of the Roots heard it and insisted Jay-Z had to rhyme on it for his comeback.
"Show Me What You Got" (produced by Just Blaze)
The single. There's been some grumbling in some quarters but we like it.
"Lost One" feat Chrissette Michelle (produced by Dr. Dre)
Pretty good track and an obvious single. Marsha from Floetry was originally slated to do the vocal, but Def Jam marketing requirements became somewhat more pressing, it seems.
"Do You Want To Ride" with John Legend (produced by Kanye West)
Really disappointing croon-fest (other than the album, when was the last time Kanye delivered a winner?) The track is set up as a letter to a childhood friend in prison but, as our Def Jam friend explained: "Jay don't do letters, so he did a track."
"30 Something" (produced by Dr. Dre)
Dre on typically infectious form and Jay-Z with a cheeky glint in his eye as he tries to convince the younger generation that "30's the new 20." It'll probably be a single down the line, given its eligibility for video treatment in the style of "Girls, Girls, Girls."
"I Made It" (produced by Dr. Dre)
Another rather mawkish dedication to Moms on which Dr. Dre, amusingly, appears to be lampooning Just Blaze. Interesting to hear him playing with more organic sounds.
"Anything" with Usher & Pharrell (produced by the Neptunes)
"A strip club song," our Def Jam host explained. Or the Neptunes' audition for the next Bubba Sparxxx single. A pretty lame offering for which Usher apparently recorded his vocals in a matter of hours and faxed the track back to Jay-Z's tour bus.
"Hollywood" with Beyonce (produced by Scyience)
A new producer but it's an old sound. Plastered with vocals of enough velocity to give your ears hemorrhoids, courtesy of Beyonce. It's all about the ruins of Hollywood and its awful addictive powers. But, really, Beyonce's chorus is as close as pop music gets to a Gloria Swanson close-up.
"Trouble" (produced by Dr. Dre)
If it didn't say Dre here, you'd swear this was Timbaland, but apparently Timbaland didn't come up with anything that Jay wanted to use this time. An album highlight with a brutal drum clack and near-industrial elements.
"Dig A Hole" with Sterling Simms (produced by Swizz Beatz)
In which Jay adopts a Joe Pesci/Casino approach to his troubles with Cam'ron, featuring more bashing of gongs than Rank Screen Advertising. Does anyone really care about this Cam'ron beef? Wasn't it all because he dissed Jay-Z for wearing sandles??
"Minority Report" with Ne-Yo (produced by Dr. Dre)
Not Dre's finest moment and a ploddingly literal condemnation of the floods in New Orleans from Jay. Perhaps he should stick to boasting about his possessions.
"Beach Chair" with Chris Martin (produced by Chris Martin)
An odd one with fairly thunderous production and minor piano chords performed by Martin. He sings the chorus as well and you have the suspicion that both he and Jay-Z encouraged the engineer to turn everything up in order to drown out their embarrassment.
Kingdom Come is released by Def Jam on November 21.
Last edited by DatZNasty : 11-12-2006 at 02:23 AM.