The title implies historic importance, but this sounds like just another Jay-Z album to me. That means fans of the rapper, at least the ones who aren’t particularly critical when it comes to hooks, should enjoy it while the rest of us are limited to bobbing our heads to the beats. Picasso Baby, fathered by an Adrian Younge sample loop, captures the grittiness of 1970s funk, but the chorus, or lack of, ruins the song. That’s the problem with most of Jay-Z’s albums and this one is no exception. I’ve been saying he has minimal song talent for years. His albums continue to prove my point.
This Holy Grail is better than Yeezus though, for whatever that’s worth. Kanye West is a better music artist in general, but he lost his imaginary crown on that one. Jay-Z, on the other hand, is no less of a king, or a “God”, than he’s been since his ego got big enough to make him think he is one. Being consistently lackluster, after all, is still being consistent. Not that there aren’t any highlights here. Somewhere In America, which features a clever “Instagram” line and a cute nod to Miley Cyrus, sounds good. Nickels And Dimes is also likable. Too bad it totally rips off a Gonjasufi song.
my rating : 3 of 5