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New Reviews: Nicki Minaj Is a 'Purist's Nightmare' on 'Roman Reloaded'

Also: New music by Bonnie Raitt, Florence and the Machine, Alabama Shakes, M. Ward and more

April 10, 2012 11:40 AM ET
Nicki Minaj's 'Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded'
Nicki Minaj's 'Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded'

In this week's slate of Rolling Stone reviews, Jody Rosen praises Nicki Minaj's versatility on Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. "She doesn't just straddle pop categories, she dumps them in a Cuisinart, whips them to a frothy purée, then trains a guided missile at the whole mess," Rosen writes. "She is a rapper's rapper, a master of flow and punch lines, with skills to please the most exacting gatekeepers of hip-hop street cred. But she's a bubblegum starlet as well, delivering confections to the nation's mall rats." Also, Will Hermes raves about Slipstream, Bonnie Raitt's first album in seven years, and Jon Dolan loves the "sense of what-the-fuck discovery" on the Alabama Shakes' excellent debut album, Boys & Girls.

ALBUMS

Nicki Minaj - Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded

Bonnie Raitt - Slipstream

Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls

M. Ward - A Wasteland Companion

Florence and the Machine - MTV Unplugged

Lost in the Trees - A Church That Fits Our Needs

Vacationer - Gone

Lambchop - Mr. M

The Lumineers - The Lumineers

SONGS

SpaceGhostPurrp "No Evidence"

Jack White "Sixteen Saltines"

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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