Freedom – Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj’s new track “Freedom” is a surprisingly intimate reflection of her success in the rap industry and her rise to stardom. Off her upcoming album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded – The Re-Up, Nicki suppresses her usual animalistic antics rapping confidently but tamely. She sings also sings the slow hook, and actually has a pretty controlled set of pipes on her. It’s a very non-Nicki track, but a welcomed change. The Re-Up features collaborations with big names like Ciara, Tyga, Cassie, and Lil Wayne. The record drops Nov. 19.
Blank Page – Christina Aguilera
In a pop music world dominated by scantily clad young girls, hard beats, auto-tune, and dubstep drops, poor Christina Aguilera has had a hard time trying to fit in and stay relevant (does anyone remember the monstrosity that was Bionic?) Finally, the songstress seems to have found her own with her upcoming album Lotus. “Blank Page,” the latest track to be released, is very reminiscent of “Beautiful,” with a soft piano, and X-tina’s inhumanely powerful voice being showcased in all its glory. We aren’t sure whether Blank Page will be released as a single, but it could make for an extremely successful ballad. Lotus hits stores Nov. 12.
Yellow Tape – Fat Joe (ft. Lil’ Wayne, A$AP Rocky & French Montana)
“Yellow Tape” is the kind of song you play on repeat when you’re working out. First of all, DJ Khaled wakes you right up with his usual yelling at the beginning of the track, then Lil’ Wayne comes in for the kill with his aggressive “yellow tape shit.” The track has a forceful beat that just demands attention and A$AP Rocky and French Montana seem right at home alongside veterans Wayne and Fat Joe. I’m usually not a huge rap fan, but even I found myself actually listening to the whole track and enjoying it. Oh, and did anyone else notice Fat Joe looking a lot healthier? He may have to change his name to Skinny Joe soon…
Teenage – Veronica Falls
British indie-poppers Veronica Falls released their self-titled debut album, which I could only describe as California pop with a dark twist. They’re back with their second full length album Waiting for Something to Happen. The new album is produced by Rory Attwell who says it’s “more polished, more affecting, and more enduring” than anyone could ever dream. “Teenage” gives us an early glimpse into the album and features jangly guitars, Roxanne Clifford’s ghostly sweet voice, and some super sweet harmonies. If you’ve never heard of Veronica Falls, you’re in for a treat. Watch for their album coming out early next year.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II Theme – Trent Reznor
This one’s for all the gamers out there…lately video game soundtracks have become just as important as the visuals and animation to set the tone of the game, and who better to create the theme for the famous war-themed game than Mr. Nine Inch Nails himself? With strong but haunting guitars and creepy piano plinking, it’s a five-minute dramatic flurry and sounds like something Reznor could sing on top of and throw into a Nine Inch Nails album. The video game and soundtrack both drop Nov. 12.