The first thing is that Nelly has pulled out some of the big guns with Pharrell and Nicki Minaj featuring on the single "Get Like Me" which actually had a video. It's not bad but feels like a slight rip-off of the Snoop hit, 'Drop it Like it's Hot'. With Nicki and Pharrell iit should have been more widespread then it was even if it's kind of annoying. Then Nelly gets back to the sing-song style he first popularized alongside Future on "Give U Dat" which is so run of the mill and boring it should be all over the radio right now. Then inexplicably Nelly decides to give away his age thinking a funk inspired joint called "Rick James" was a good idea. It's not, even if it does include T.I. Not that it's measurably worse than the previous tracks but it's a dated idea and concept.
"Heaven" with Daley is slightly better as it channels the spirit of the hit 'Ride with Me' but it isn't a great song either and some of the audio effects on Nelly's voice are overdone. I don't get why "Maryland, Massachusetts" is called that but the hook is catchy enough and the beat works. It's less overtly pop and isn't all that bad. Atlanta's 2 Chainz features on "100k" is in the same vein, aimed more at the hip-hop clubs but it becomes more and more evident that Nelly is completely reliant on some sort of gimmickry on every track even when it really isnt necessary.
Nelly does have a huge sounding pop song with "All Around the World" which features Trey Songz on the hook. If 'Roar' from Katy Perry can be all over then this song can definitely be a hit. Especially since Nelly leaves the singing to a singer. "I.D.G.A.F." with Pharrell and T.I. is another hit in waiting if it could see the light of day. This is one of the better songs on the album with an infectious set of drums and simple hook. Nelly holds down "U Know U Want To" by himself but it feels like a bad attempt at being Drake. Fabolous and Wiz Khalifa show up on "My Chick Better" where Nelly shows his struggle bars when he is actually trying to be witty. Continuing a trend of trying to do cross-genre mashups, "Walk Away" features Florida Georgia Line but is one of those annoying songs you don't really want to hear. Nelly Furtado surfaces on "Headphones" which is alright but another attempt at that 'big' song that doesn't quite make it, though it could I guess.
Overall, Nelly isn't a bad artist and he still has the knack for creating some songs that could be huge on the top 40 charts. The major problem is that in order to do that you have to sell people on the fact that you belong. Nelly is seen as old and a has been and his label isn't going to put forth the effort at this point to him and his music in the position where the public wants to consume it again. It's unfortunate because it isn't a bad album per se, especially for Nelly. He has some songs if given the chance they would pop but he doesn't make the music that engenders the die hard fans that could keep him relevant. Even features from TI and Nicki Minaj can't raise his profile. If you have a chance and like Drake's singles you might want to check out some of Nelly's songs. If you like Hip-pop you should definitely give it a listen but if you don't this wont make it past the download stage.