Update: The release of this album has been postponed to February 21, 2011.

Akon

Akonic
Island

Akon, the Konvict turned Akonic singer, is back.

On his latest album, Akon brings a new dance-house feel to his typically tropical ways. Techno beats and R&B sounds spice up his fourth effort, which encompasses all the sounds he could possibly produce. The pop singer supreme drops top-40 hits with soulful R&B vocals, club-shaking beats and poppy hooks like it’s his job — well, it is his job.

It’s been a few years since the pop-master last put out an album. Between collaborations with Lady Gaga and Lil Wayne and producing records with his self-run record company, he clearly just hasn’t had the time. Now, the “Smack That” singer emerges with the dance tracks (and probably the dance moves) to pull him out of his hiatus.

“Angel,” the first single off Akonic, has a quintessential Akon sound. It starts with a whiny, call-out entrance as the beat flows in. Reminiscent of the Black Eyed Peas’ “I’ve Got a Feeling,” this track is a party starter — dance pop at it’s finest. Still, while the hook grabs attention, the song itself just doesn’t. Sure, it’s a top-40 gem, but musically, it doesn’t do anything exciting enough to earn any credibility. And Akon’s semi-irritating voice does not help Akonic‘s cause. It is difficult to sit through an Akon album without developing a headache.

While the album as a whole can be somewhat annoying, the beats and rhythms hold it together. The reggae grooving “Dirty Situation” sees Akon collaborating with Mohombi to create a Jamaican-infused track that lays down the right rhythms but not the rhymes. Akon sings, “Danger in the disco / She drop it low / Back it up / Mami’s on the floor / Shakin’ that booty / Oh yeah.” Clearly, Akonic was not meant to be the most poetic album, but it will definitely get some heads bobbing.

Akonic is a good example of a techno-tropics dance album, yet it’s missing some substance. Though the album includes guest appearances by some big-hitters in the hip-hop world, the album is forgettable. Impressive dance beats drive Akonic, but it isn’t enough for the Senegalese rapper to pull through. Don’t fret Akon fans, you will hear his tunes topping the charts soon enough, because he does what he’s good at — making pop hits that make your hips swing.

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