The Hot Sheet
BY Advocate.com Editors
November 24 2010 2:50 PM ET
Let Freedom Reign by Chrisette Michele — From the Keyshia Cole/Mary J. Blige school of R&B, Chrisette Michele combines a knack for churning out catchy tunes with an expressive voice that can tackle dance tracks, slow jams, and power ballads. While Blige can be a bit heavy-handed with the vocal theatrics and Cole, while talented, seems to keep cranking out the same schmaltzy ballad over and over, Michele has range, and the collection of tunes on her third album makes for a highly enjoyable set. First single “I’m a Star” is uplifting without seeming preachy while “I Don’t Know Why, But I Do” is the kind of blues-infused piano track you wish Whitney Houston had tackled for her comeback. She didn’t, allowing Michele’s star to fly higher. A must-listen.
Pink Friday by Nicki Minaj — The hip-hop world has been talking about Nicki Minaj for months, but her debut disc, Pink Friday, is just dropping this week. Minaj’s talent for rap is evident — pop-influenced tracks “Fly,” featuring Rihanna, and “Right Thru Me” are the strongest — and she’s certainly made more than a few gay fans with her rumored bisexuality (she’s denied this but claims she doesn’t date men or women) and support for an increased gay presence in hip-hop. But the use of the f bomb and the played-out “No Homo” by collaborator Eminem on the album’s second track make this a questionable swallow. Minaj has the talent, but will gay fans feel alienated by her duet partner?
Watch the promo for Pink Friday below.