Music News


Earlier this year, took a look at popular R&B singer Akon's bio, then exposed him as a potential phony. By unearthing police documents, the website showed that the Senegalese-American star behind hits like "Locked Up" and "Don't Matter" greatly exaggerated his arrest record and incarceration time. So on his third album, Freedom, he downgrades himself from Konvicted (the title of his last CD) to "Troublemaker." The only problem is, without the criminal façade, Akon isn't nearly as interesting. Even the album's title track is not so much about his release from prison but rather an existential cleansing. (Sonically, it's quite similar to George Michael's "Freedom '90," although one assumes Akon had different thoughts in his head while he recorded it.) Elsewhere, the disc is mostly a snooze­fest, with Akon riffing on love and sex on downbeat, saccharine club ballads like "Beautiful," "Keep You Much Longer," and "Be With You." The only signs of life are the Wyclef Jean-assisted "Sunny Day" and the album's best track, "I'm So Paid." The latter sees Akon briefly returning to thug mode — well, driving over the speed limit while carrying an unlicensed firearm, anyway. It's enough to make one nostalgic for his previous, bogus persona. Sure, Akon's not a gangster. But neither is Robert De Niro, and everyone likes it when he plays one.
KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ben Westhoff
Contact: Ben Westhoff