Sunday, June 23, 2013

Wale - The Gifted (Album Review)

Release Date : June 25, 2013
Label : Maybach Music Group / Atlantic  Records

I gotta give Wale his credit, he continues to improve with each album he puts out. His sophomore album Ambition went gold thanks to the hit single Lotus Flower Bomb featuring Miguel. Wale also had an impressive showing on MMG's Self Made Vol 2 album. The DC native kept busy by releasing the Folarin mixtape on Christmas Eve 2012. The first single off The Gifted, Bad featuring Tiara Thomas appeared on that mixtape and its also Wale's biggest hit to date. June has been a big month for Hip-Hop, Kanye West, J Cole and Mac Miller all released albums on the same day (June 18), so that leaves June 25th wide open for Wale's 3rd album.

The good thing about this album is that it sounds nothing like Wale's past efforts. On the albums opener The Curse of the Gifted, Wale raps about his gifts and curses over Sean C, LV's guitar heavy instrumental. Wale addresses how people believe everything they hear nowadays on the Cee Lo Green featured Gullible, in the second verse he spits "TV killed the radio/ And then the internet slit the television throat/ But not before I gave birth to several episodes/ Our generation is cursed we got too many clones".

Rotation is for the smokers, Wale does a little harmonizing on the hook over a spaced out beat with pounding drums, Wiz and 2 Chainz do their usual thing, yeah the verses are predictable but the song is still enjoyable. The production on this album is more soulful. Sunshine, Heaven's Afternoon and Golden Salvation (Jesus Piece) all have that soulful feel. Its only right that Wale has some joints for the ladies, Tired of Dreaming (featuring Ne-Yo & Rick Ross) could be a single
Clappers (featuring Nicki Minaj & Juicy J) should be a summer smash. It's a perfect club track, Nicki's verse was real short, maybe like 20 seconds. On Bricks (featuring Yo Gotti & Lyfe Jennings), Wale explains how the drug game was not for him, while Yo Gotti explains how he got into the drug game and Lyfe kills it on the hook. 88 produced by Just Blaze is dope too. The album closes out with some real talk on Black Heroes / Outro About Nothing (featuring Jerry Seinfeld). I'm interested to see how his next album turns out since him and Jerry are working on it together, if you followed Wale for years then you know he's a big Seinfeld fan.

Overall The Gifted will satisfy Wale's core fanbase as well as casual listeners. I did feel there were some mistakes on here though. For instance, the Bad (Remix) was pointless, why waste a Rihanna feature on a song that was already a hit? He could made a different song with RiRi. Vanity and Simple Man were just okay to me, those two songs weren't really needed. Bad featuring Tiara Thomas is the last track, they sequenced that wrong because Bad should of been somewhere in the beginning of the album, not ending it. Wale can also be too repetitive at times as he rarely changes his subject matter. Mistakes aside, Wale did a good job on his third album.



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