Is it any good?
But to be fair, it’s okay on the Jay Z Scale of Life- meaning his “okay” is a normal person’s “slightly less than great, but still better than most people can do.”
So far, I’ve listened to it twice. I thought it would rock my socks off. I even wore socks today with the intention of having them being rocked off. I mean, it’s Jay Z. He could tell us all he’s making dinner and we’d expect it to be THE BEST DINNER EVER. We’d be like…
I bet the lobster will taste like steak!
Sorry Jay Z, lofty expectations just kind of come with the territory when you’re, you know, Jay Z.
Magna Carta Holy Grail is good. If it were a test, it’s grade would be a B-; nothing to write home about or put on the fridge, but hey, at least it’d keep you from getting grounded. I’ll say this though, it’s definitely more approachable than Yeezus and if I owned the two, I’d certainly listen to Magna Carta more.
But is the music better?
That’s too hard to say. It’s like an argument about what kind of laptop is better- a Mac or a PC? Both get the job done. It just comes down to preference.
There’s bright spots on Magna Carta. The album’s opener, “Holy Grail,” really isn’t one of them, largely due to the ill-advised Nirvana interpolation in the chorus. Timbaland should be reprimanded for that one. He should at least be sent to bed without desert. But “Tom Ford” is kind of cool with music that sounds a little bit like Santigold’s “Creator.” And I don’t want to be the one to say it, but Mr. Carter gets a little old man cranky on the album- laying waste to Twitter and Instagram as wastes of time. Jay ain’t got no love for hash tags.
The track with Frank Ocean, “Oceans” is a good tune. So is the one with Beyonce.
The album’s high water mark, whether it really is or not, is “BBC,” which features Timberlake, Pharrell, Nas, Beyonce and Swizz Beats. It’s got a great beat, one of the most upbeat on the album. It’s a club bouncer as opposed to a club banger. Definitely not a bad thing, just different. It has a nice little piano to it and overall, has a great, loose party atmosphere to it.
In the end, this album is good but definitely not the event I thought or hoped it would be.
Sure, why not.
At least it doesn’t scare me like Yeezus.