Freedom (Akon album)

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Freedom
Studio album by Akon
Released December 2, 2008 (2008-12-02)[1]
Recorded 2007–2008
Genre R&B, pop, dance, hip hop[2]
Length 48:50
Label Konvict, UpFront, SRC, Island, Universal Motown
Producer Akon (exec.), Noel "Detail" Fisher Giorgio Tuinfort, Jaylien Wesley, RedOne, T-Pain, Timothy Walls
Akon chronology
Konvicted
(2006)
Freedom
(2008)
Stadium
(2013)
Singles from Freedom
  1. "Right Now (Na Na Na)"
    Released: September 23, 2008
  2. "I'm So Paid"
    Released: October 4, 2008
  3. "Beautiful"
    Released: January 6, 2009
  4. "We Don't Care"
    Released: July 6, 2009

Freedom is the third studio album by hip hop and R&B Senegalese-American singer and record producer Akon.[3] The album was originally named Acquitted; however, Akon changed it before it was released.[4] It was released as a download on December 1, 2008, and in stores December 2, 2008. The album debuted at number 7 on the Billboard 200 with 110,600 copies sold in its first week.[5]

Recording[edit]

Production on the album began in late 2007 and ended in late summer 2008. Originally the album was to be called Acquitted, but was later confirmed to be Freedom by Akon's label, Universal Music. Although there are some vulgarities on Freedom, it does not carry the Parental Advisory warning, making it Akon's first album not to do so. In July, a leaked recording of Akon's duet with Michael Jackson titled "Hold My Hand" was released to the Internet and at first showings of the song was supposedly taken out by Akon's music label. The song was originally posted as an Akon demo with only Akon performing the song. The leaked song was rumored to be featured on both his and Jackson's own upcoming album.[6] In an interview with MTV, Akon was hopeful to include the song on the album. However, on October 17, Akon's label released information on the track listing and the album does not feature the duet with Jackson.[7] The UK bonus track, "Clap Again" samples "Click Click Click" by New Kids on the Block. The leaked version of the lead single "Right Now (Na Na Na)" included verse from rhythm and blues artist Danny Fernandes but never made the final cut; Akon decided to go solo. The tracks "Against the Grain" and "We Don't Care" were originally named "Falling in Love" and "Could You Be the Reason" respectively. "Troublemaker" seems to be a continuation of Akon's first solo #1 Billboard Hot 100 single "Don't Matter", with the lyrics suggesting that it is, as he says "Similar to the words it don't matter, but this time they wanna see us together, look at us now."

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (58/100)[8]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[9]
Entertainment Weekly C-[10]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[11]
musicOMH 1/5 stars[12]
Now 2/5 stars[13]
The Phoenix 2/4 stars[14]
PopMatters (5/10)[15]
Robert Christgau (3-star Honorable Mention)[16]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[17]
Uncut 2/5 stars[8]

Freedom so far has a score of 58 out of 100 from Metacritic based on "mixed or average reviews".[8] Rolling Stone described Akon's third studio album as "melodrama about love and love lost delivered in a hooting style over synth-swamped beats."[17] Dan LeRoy of The Hartford Courant gave a positive review to the album, stating, "Akon's undeniable gift for hooks makes this an easy listen, and the ex-con posturing isn't missed."[18] The Boston Globe also stated, "This tuneful, seemingly effortless set of sun-kissed pop reminds you why he's in so much demand."[19] 411mania gave the album a score of eight out of ten and said, "This CD is great for the clubs and perhaps for driving down the road trying to find something to put in your cars, but the lyrics are your basic run-of-the-mill R&B song lyrics and leave you a little empty. The one thing I can say for Akon is that he has a pretty decent voice, he's got a great look, and he's got great promoters."[20] Entertainment Weekly gave the album a C-, stating, "Akon's philosophy of liberty also includes the freedom to reuse nearly identical hooks for 13 songs straight."[10] musicOMH gave the album one star out of five and stated, "Unfortunately, all this really means is an extra emphasis on weirdly pitched keyboard riffs and slightly dated sounding beats," and also stated "The album opens with its two best songs, which is never a good idea when there are twelve still to get through."[12] The New York Times critic Jon Caramanica described the track Holla Holla, featuring T-Pain, "is the first of theirs (song) in which the student clearly bests the mentor."[21] Meanwhile, following the album's UK release, noted R&B writer Pete Lewis of the award-winning Blues & Soul stated: "With his new album's typically-expansive moods ranging from banging ghetto jams like 'I'm So Paid' and sexual, T-Pain-featuring 'Holla Holla', to uplifting universal anthems like the autobiographical title-track and reggae-infused 'Sunny Day', hopes are high this time round for 'Freedom' to even eclipse Akon's already-amazing past international success."[22]

Singles[edit]

The first single released from the album, "Right Now (Na Na Na)", which peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 was Akon's 12th top 10 hit on the chart. The second single is "I'm So Paid", featuring Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy. The single made a "Hot Shot Debut" at #40 on the Billboard Hot 100 and fell off the charts after a few weeks, but then re-entered and peaked at #31. "Beautiful", the third single, debuted and peaked at #19 on the Billboard Hot 100. The fourth single from the album was "We Don't Care", The music video surfaced online on June 16.[23][24] The songs "Troublemaker" featuring Sweet Rush and "Keep You Much Longer" peaked at #97 and #123 respectively on the Billboard Hot 100 based solely on iTunes downloads following the album's release without single releases.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Right Now (Na Na Na)"   Akon Akon, Giorgio Tuinfort* 4:01
2. "Beautiful" (featuring Colby O'Donis and Kardinal Offishall) Akon, J. Wesley, Colby O'Donis Colón, Jason Harrow Akon, Jaylien 2010* 5:13
3. "Keep You Much Longer"   Akon, Giorgio Tuinfort, Mark "Exit" Goodchild Akon, Giorgio Tuinfort* 4:21
4. "Troublemaker" (featuring Sweet Rush) Akon, Timothy "K-Figz" Walls Akon, Timothy "K-Figz" Walls* 3:57
5. "We Don't Care"   Akon, Giorgio Tuinfort, Claude Kelly Akon, Giorgio Tuinfort* 4:16
6. "I'm So Paid" (featuring Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy) Akon, Noel Fisher, Dwayne Carter Jr., Jay Jenkins Akon, Noel "Detail" Fisher* 4:24
7. "Holla Holla" (featuring T-Pain) Akon, T-Pain, Frank Romano, David "Preach" Balfour Akon, T-Pain*, Frank Romano^ 3:00
8. "Against the Grain" (featuring Ray Lavender) Akon, RedOne, E. Lavender Akon, RedOne* 4:04
9. "Be with You"   Akon, Hakim Abdulsamad Akon, Hakim Abdulsamad* 3:51
10. "Sunny Day" (featuring Wyclef) Akon, RedOne, Neluset Jean Akon, RedOne*, Lamont "LoGiC" Coleman^ 5:13
11. "Birthmark"   Akon, Giorgio Tuinfort, Noel Fisher Akon, Giorgio Tuinfort*, Noel "Deatil" Fisher^ 4:23
12. "Over the Edge"   Akon, Giorgio Tuinfort, Claude Kelly Akon, Giorgio Tuinfort* 4:27
13. "Freedom"   Akon, Giorgio Tuinfort, Noel Fisher Akon, Giorgio Tuinfort* 4:15
Total length:
48:50
  • (*) as co-producer.
  • (^) as additional producer.

Charts and certifications[edit]

Chart precession and succession[edit]

Preceded by
I Am... Sasha Fierce by Beyoncé
Just Go by Lionel Richie
UK R&B Chart number-one album
March 15, 2009 – March 22, 2009
March 29, 2009[31]
Succeeded by
Just Go by Lionel Richie
R.O.O.T.S. by Flo Rida

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Akon'S Angel Available Now!". Akononline.com. Retrieved 2011-02-23. 
  2. ^ Kellman, Andy. "allmusic ((( Freedom > Overview )))". Allmusic. Macrovision Corporation. Retrieved 2009-10-21. 
  3. ^ Akon's official site. Accessed September 21, 2008.
  4. ^ Akon Hoping For Michael Jackson Collaboration On Forthcoming LP, Acquitted. Mtv.com.
  5. ^ http://www.xxlmag.com/magazine/2008/12/akon-scarface-debut-on-the-charts-kanye-ludacris%E2%80%99-sales-drop/
  6. ^ Michael Jackson Cameo Shocks Akon Songwriter
  7. ^ "Akon's new album "Freedom" tracklisting is out!!!". Universal Music. Retrieved 2011-02-23. 
  8. ^ a b c "Critic Reviews for Freedom". Metacritic. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  9. ^ Andy Kellman. "Freedom - Akon". Allmusic. 
  10. ^ a b Simon Vozick-Levinson (November 29, 2008). "Freedom Review". Entertainment Weekly. 
  11. ^ Sullivan, Caroline (November 27, 2008). "Akon, 'Freedom'". London: The Guardian. 
  12. ^ a b Michael Cragg (December 1, 2008). "Akon - Freedom". musicOMH. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  13. ^ Tim Perlich (December 10–17, 2008). "Akon: Freedom". Now. 
  14. ^ David Boffa (December 15, 2008). "Review: Akon : Freedom". The Phoenix. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  15. ^ Jordan Sargent (December 9, 2008). "Akon: Freedom". PopMatters. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  16. ^ Robert Christgau. "CG: Akon". RobertChristgau.com. 
  17. ^ a b Jody Rosen (November 27, 2008). "Freedom". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  18. ^ Dan LeRoy (December 2, 2008). "New On CD: Akon, David Byrne & Brian Eno, Seal, Supersuckers, Lee Shaw". The Hartford Courant. Archived from the original on December 6, 2008. Retrieved October 27, 2012. 
  19. ^ Ken Capobianco (December 1, 2008). "Akon spreads love on 'Freedom'". The Boston Globe. 
  20. ^ Joshua George (December 3, 2008). "Music- Akon - Freedom Review". 411mania.com. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  21. ^ Jon Caramanica (November 30, 2008). "New CDs (Akon, Freedom)". The New York Times. 
  22. ^ Akon interview by Pete Lewis, 'Blues & Soul' December 2008
  23. ^ "Radio 1 - Playlist". BBC. 2011-02-16. Retrieved 2011-02-23. 
  24. ^ "Playlist - Home". Playlist.totalkiss.com. Retrieved 2011-02-23. 
  25. ^ "Freedom - Brazilian Edition - Saraiva.com.br". Livrariasaraiva.com.br. Retrieved 2011-02-23. 
  26. ^ a b "Freedom-Asian Tour Edition: Akon: Amazon.co.uk: Music". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-02-23. 
  27. ^ "Oficjalna lista sprzedaży :: OLIS - Official Retail Sales Chart" (in Polish). OLiS. Retrieved 2011-09-20. 
  28. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Akon – Freedom". Music Canada. Retrieved February 23, 2011. 
  29. ^ "IFPI Middle East Awards – 2010". IFPI Middle East. Retrieved July 3, 2011. 
  30. ^ "British album certifications – Akon – Freedom". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved July 3, 2011.  Enter Freedom in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  31. ^ "Radio 1 - The Official Chart with Reggie Yates - UK Top 40 RNB Albums". BBC. Retrieved 2011-02-23. 

External links[edit]