The album starts off strong with "All Things Go" which is an introspective track over some strong drums and a minimal melody. This is the direction of the emotional Nicki we want to hear. She sort of continues on "I Lied" which is another simple backing beat and has the feel that today's young girls will automatically like as she starts to talk about her relationship issues.
Now if you don't like the heartbroken Nicki, she brings the sexual power she is known for with Ariana Grande on "Get On Your Knees" which for some women they will play as their empowerment anthem. I wonder if they will try to turn this into a single tough its a bit raunchy, the big hook and feature seem like it will get some sort of push. "Only" which has been blowing up urban radio features Drake and Lil Wayne as they take turns talking about sexual relations with Ms. Minaj. Chris Brown also handles the hook which might be the best part of the song. Jeremih, who produces a couple of joints, sings on "Favorite" which is an alright track but nothing spectacular.
Beyonce returns the favor Nicki bestowed upon her for the 'Flawless Remix' on "Feeling Myself" which is going to have the Beyhive and Barbies going crazy again with an unorthodox song (which has become one of Bey's trademarks as far as arrangements) and heavy 808 feel by Hit Boi. "Four Door Aventador" is decent and the most we get at an attempt to really have the east coast flair. "Want Some More" is her best 'Wayne' imitation and she has moments when she goes off spitting but the hook is a little lazy yet catchy. This one will be a club banger.
"Buy a Heart" features Meek Mill but it is aimed at the pop market which could be good for the Philly native. We know about "Anaconda" by now and "Pills N Potions". In another bid to ensure the Top 40 spins, "The Night is Still Young" exists just to cross over and is nothing special. "Bed of Lies" with Skylar Grey is aimed at Nicki's recent ex-boyfriend and is an above average song that will resonate with her fans. I'm not a fan of "Trni Dem Girls" or "Grand Piano" which ends the 'regular' edition of the album.
Bonus tracks include Meek Mill on a second feature on "Big Daddy" which has an atrocious and lazy hook that's trying to be clever but isn't. The bars aren't bad though. "Shanghai" which is the bastard child of Chiraq made just for Nicki. "Win Again" is cool but I don't like the Target exclusive 'Mona Lisa'. The other Target exclusive "Put You in a Room" also doesn't seem like a finished song, it should have been left in the unreleased folder. The final bonus track is "Truffle Butter" with Drake and Lil Wayne and the only problem is they are always on the same tempo with a lot of songs so they aren't interesting at all.
Knowing that Nicki went through a major break up this year gives clues to the direction of the overall album. It is very depressed and while the few songs that kind of touch on that feeling seem to work, the rest of them don't. I mean she has some success with the sexually aggressive records but she doesn't develop as a full person on an album where she had a real chance to expand upon who 'Nicki minaj' actually is. She instead just becomes a hurt young girl who doesn't believe herself when she is trying to brag and spit. Even her more introspective songs are just so simple they don't add depth to the feelings she must have had while trying to create this. The Nicki that was on "Champion" next to some of the best in the game isn't present on this album and that's a disappointment. Production is decent but there are no risks like before and everything just seems to be too over produced. This must be Nicki's mulligan of an album.