The Score: Game, "The R.E.D. Album"

Tuesday, Aug 23, 2011 11:00AM

Written by J. Bachelor

THE SCORE
THE SCORE 8/10
Buy Now
  • The R.E.D. Album
  • Game
  • August 23, 2011
Hip Hop DX 4/5
The Couch Sessions 8/10
Artist Direct 5/5
Raps And Hustles 2.5/5
411 Mania 9/10

It's Game time. West Coast rapper Game is back with a new laundry list of guest features and name drops jam-packed into his fourth CD, titled The R.E.D. Album.

R.E.D. finds Game back in the studio with his one-time mentor Dr. Dre, who took a hands-off approach to Game's career following a well publicized beef with G-Unit head honcho 50 Cent.

On his fourth offering, The R.E.D. Album, Game sounds so incendiary he could burn down the very door to Hell itself. This is Game's most definitive, deadly, and downright divine record to date. It's more cinematic and cohesive than his 2005 breakout debut, The Documentary, and somehow it's even more vicious than his last release, LAX. With an eerie choral sample and slow stomp, "The City" welcomes listeners into Game's West Coast, and he paves a path through the bullet-riddled South Central streets, while dropping in poignant religious imagery and industry vitriol with a gruff, gritty delivery. Kendrick Lamar matches the intensity as the beat drops, and words sear like cyanide.(Artist Direct)

Game invites all to play, as guest appearances include E-40, Drake, Rick Ross and songbird Nelly Furtado.

"R.E.D." is a well-crafted album with a heavy dose of guest appearances, including Lil Wayne, Nelly Furtado, Beanie Sigel and E-40. With his hoarse delivery, the Game's lyrical flow is strong and on par with some of hip-hop's best, such as Wayne, Rick Ross and Drake. He meshes well with Chris Brown on the album's slow-tempo single, "Pot of Gold."(ABC News

R.E.D's creation was overseen by Neptune's frontman and superproducer Pharrell, with Dr. Dre prescribing interludes throughout the album.

R.E.D. was to be a joint effort, with primary input coming from Dre and The Neptunes. Well, Pharrell is the executive producer, but both he and Dre only provide a beat each, and by Game's own admission the latter is a Detox leftover 2 years aged. Frankly, the fact that "Drug Test" still bangs says more for Dre (and his latest protege DJ Khalil) than this whole album does for Game. Instead Dre provides a series of dramatic interludes which, to be fair, add more cohesion to the album than much anything else, but it's a far cry from the true successor to The Documentary fans had hoped for.(One Thirty BPM)

In April, Game discussed the controversial video for "Red Nation," the album's lead single.

"We shot this real rebel scene. I was over there in a bunch of dirt with rocks, and behind the gate were a bunch of guys I couldn't see, looking all menacing and scary and [with] bats and sticks and poles," Game told MTV News on the set. "And that was kinda crazy, man. I was in sort of like an army fatigue thing, doing my thing. But it was fun, man, the first shot -- had a lot of fun, got real sweaty 'cause I was jumping around, man. A lotta dust and smoke -- it was crazy, man."(MTV)

Critics say this is another solid drop from Game, an artist who, despite the never-ending controversey, knows how to deliver a respectable album.

I have this philosophy that dudes who rhyme and know they aren't the illest, seem to spend more time picking dope beats cause they KNOW the beats are gonna help carry them cause their rhymes aren't gonna hold them down. While the real ill MC's seem to pick whatever beat is put in front of 'em cause they feel like their rhymes are enough to make their albums dope. But since Game isn't that MC, money makes sure his beats are BEYOND being on point to make sure this albums bang which is smart to me. It's like a sports team knowing their short comings and going through trades and free agency to make their squad better. And even though Game will never go down in hip hop history as being one of the illest lyricists, if he keeps making albums like this he may go down as having one of the illest discographies in the game.(The Couch Sessions)

Looking for negatives on this disc was somewhat difficult as there really are not many. Maybe the Dr. Dre produced "Drug Test" did not really live up to expectations, or the somewhat mediocre (compared to the rest of the album) "All The Way Gone" just don't seem to fit the high quality of the rest of the tracks. With that said, Game managed to produce what has to be a modern day classic, and one of the best albums of the year. Gone are the constant name drops and disses, and instead we were given the great story telling and emotion that Game is known for.(411 Mania)

To purchase The R.E.D. Album, just click here.

Preview tracks from the album below:

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