SYNDICATE
Posted by: Dave on September 21, 2009 at 12:07 pm

Jay-Z Blueprint 3.jpgSound: Overall, the production (Kanye West contributed nearly half the tracks, plus heavyweights Timbaland and Pharrell Williams delivered a few tracks, too) is decidedly synth-heavy with either bouncy gangsta strings, bangin’ digital beats or hypnotic cosmic atmosphere. But the first three singles (“D.O.A.,” “Run This Town,” and “Empire State of Mind”) are made up of somewhat more organic elements including guitar riffs, clarinet runs, militant percussion and an elegant piano melody.
Lyrics: The legendary rapper spends most of the album reminding listeners how great he is as he trashes artists who rely on Auto-Tune production, represents for NYC, and flaunts his sexual prowess.
Heavy Rotation tracks: “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)” (Top 20 Songs of 2009 Candidate); “Reminder”
Medium Rotation tracks: “On to the Next One” featuring Swizz Beatz; “Venus vs. Mars”; “Hate” featuring Kanye West; “Off That” featuring Drake; “Run This Town” featuring Rihanna and Kanye West
Recommended: Jay-Z’s original Blueprint album (my #3 album of 2001) remains one of the best albums of the decade—it was Kanye West’s coming out party as a producer and the rhymes were handled largely by Jigga himself, so it had a consistent sound and lyrical focus. Conversely, Blueprint 2 was a bloated and scattered double-album mess that attempted to cross-pollinate too many genres and yielded extremely few worthwhile tracks. Blueprint 3 has elements of both of its predecessors. It tries to appeal too many different mainstream audiences, and Jay-Z yields the mic to guest rappers and singers more often than he should. But it does have several quality tracks, even though don’t necessarily feel like they belong on the same album. Blueprint 3 is a substantial improvement from the previous release in the trilogy, and it has more to offer than Jay-Z’s last two releases, (2007’s American Gangster and 2006’s Kingdom Come).
Grade: B+

Listen to Tracks/Buy Music:
On iTunes
On amazon.com



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