Akon has returned from a relatively quiet two years with “Akonic,” a dance-heavy pop album currently slated for a Nov. 23 release on Konvict Muzik/Universal Motown. Songs from the Senegalese artist’s fourth effort were previewed last night (Sept. 21) at a listening session at MPD in New York.
The seven songs played off the album mixed call-and-response hooks, heavy percussion and Auto-Tuned vocals, with “Give It To ‘Em” tweaking Akon’s singing until it emerges almost unrecognizable in the chorus. “Drop Down Low,” “Hold You” and “Be Me” continued the uptempo dance vibe, with Akon playfully singing on the latter track, “Life’s a bitch, and yes I love her/I wouldn’t trade her for no other.”
“Time is Money,” featuring Black Mafia member Big Meech, offered a harder street-rap sound, while the synth-heavy “Nosy Neighbor” found Akon spying on a woman from his window as she is “getting naked.” The set’s highlight was club-ready first single “Angel,” which combined soft, romantic verses with an infectious refrain. “I’m looking at an angel, and believe me what I say/She got the whole place glowing,” Akon sings over a pulsating beat.
Originally titled “Stadium Music,” “Akonic” follows up Akon’s 2008 disc “Freedom,” which spawned Hot 100 hits “Right Now (Na Na Na)” and “Beautiful” and has sold 762,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.