2/12 Album Reviews


Nicki Minaj

Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded

Feb. 14

Trinidad-born and Queens, New York-bred Nicki Minaj started writing raps at age 12, developing alter egos to help herself cope with the emotional challenges of a rough, impoverished childhood. While she may overdo the fantastical, Lil’ Kim-inspired aesthetic, Minaj is a gifted emcee with an otherworldly pop vision. In her sophomore album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (to be released on Valentine’s Day as a follow-up to her sales record-breaking debut, Pink Friday) Minaj channels her alter ego Roman, a “little gay-boy” who favors motorcycles and violence. Kiss-kiss, vroom-vroom! -Tim Donnelly



Feb. 27

In the mid-1990s, The Cranberries dominated MTV and the alt-rock airwaves with “Zombie,” a single whose plaintive vocals managed to temporarily consume the American rock-conscious with the lyrics: “With their tanks and their bombs. And their bombs and their guns. In your head, in your head...” While lead singer Dolores O’Riordan’s pipes can induce aural exhaustion at times, musically, The Cranberries certainly know their way around mournful pop hooks a la The Smiths. Roses, the band’s ?rst release in more than a decade, is worth a listen if, come Valentine’s Day, you’re dateless, drinking heavily and dosing yourself with chocolates out of self-pity. -TD