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http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/788c87716a2996f4a2c962907c5a82a9d5aeddb7.jpg The R.E.D. Album

Game

The R.E.D. Album

DGC/Interscope
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August 30, 2011

Game albums often come with as much tabloid distraction as intrigue - between his latest contrived Jay-Z diss ("Uncle Otis") and lame Twitter pranks (like telling his followers to flood the LAPD internship requests), the Compton MC doesn't seem to have given his long-delayed fourth album top priority. Next-gen West Coast-er Kendrick Lamar upstages his elder's flow on "The City," and R&B cuts featuring Lloyd, Mario, Wale and Chris Brown are tepid throwaways. He does give a riveting account of his daughter's birth on "California Dream" and seethes, "We ain't got no options/Wanted to be a boxer, but I was boxed in," on the soul-baring "Ricky." It's proof that, just when you least expect it, he can still rage compellingly.

Listen to "California Dream":

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