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Polaroids Of Androids

Record Reviews


The Blueprint 3

The defining factor that separates Jay-Z's trio of career highlights - Reasonable Doubt, The Blueprint and The Black Album - from his large volume of underwhelming records is the level of purpose behind the creation. Reasonable Doubt was the record where he proved his worth, The Blueprint was where he fended off those eager to take his crown and The Black Album was his lavish retirement party/victory lap.

To put it bluntly - there is no reason for The Blueprint 3 to even exist. It's a bunch of songs, loosely tied together by a like-minded vision of rap pop, but essentially created without any real underlying direction and completely void of any sense of genuine passion. The barrage of cameo appearances distract slightly from Jigga's mostly "phoned in" lyrics, which when held up against some of his previous highly quotable verses (Cashmere Thoughts, anyone?) sound like they were written between lulls at a Grizzly Bear concert. I guess this is a fairly misleading statement considering the high number of dull moments at a Grizzle show. Boom. Double kidney punch. Take that 'indie music'.

Even Run This Town, which is right up there with Single Ladies and Since You've Been Gone as the greatest pop song of this decade/forever, can't save this record's discount bin destiny. In fact, the quality of the song has very little to do with Jay himself - with his two verses being the least entertaining thing about the four-and-half-minutes of pop bliss, taking a back seat to Rihanna's flawless hooks and Kanye's killer "RAV 4" third verse.

The other record highlight, the previously released D.O.A, sounds a little silly in the context of the album, especially considering that there are several 'autotune' moments during the record. Also, the fact this song is controversial really shows how watered down hip-hop has become. It wasn't that long ago Eminem was dropping lines about raping you, DMX was growling about raping you while you slept and KRS-One was pushing his heavy Christian hip-hop views. Damn, 2009 hip-hop is weaker than a McLovin.

I could easily waste a few more digital trees telling you about everything else that is wrong with this record (don't even get me started on the Forever Young closer) but let's all save ourselves the trouble. The Blueprint 3 is shit. I advise that we pretend Run This Town was a one-off single, Jay's barrage of other career mis-steps (Linkin Park vs R Kelly mash-ups) never actually happened and that he has only ever recorded three albums over the past 13 years. I think we'll all be better off.

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