Trouble

Studio Album by released in 2004

Trouble review

Aliaune Thiam – aka Akon – grew up in Senegal before he and his family (including his father, jazz percussionist Mor Thiam) eventually settled in New Jersey. There he discovered hip-hop for the first time, as well as crime. He was still at high school, leaving the youngster to make the most of his freedom by running into trouble with the law. He was eventually jailed, but he used the time to work on his musical ideas. Upon release, Akon began writing and recording tracks in a home studio. The tapes found their way to SRC/Universal, which eventually released Trouble, Akon's debut LP, in June 2004. The album is an interesting hybrid of Akon's raps and silky, West African-styled vocals with East Coast- and Southern-styled beats.

A majority of the album is about being in jail (Locked Up, Ghetto, Lonely and I Won't), life afterwards (Trouble Nobody and Showout) and getting girls (Bananza Belly Dancer, When The Time's Right and Don't Let Up). The rap songs "Gangsta" and "When The Time's Right" prove that they are mostly mediocre and Akon's style isn't for that. Most of the disc is R&B though. Songs like Ghetto, Pot Of Gold (which is the true ballad of the album), and Lonely are good examples of shining R&B on Trouble. Akon's cover of Bobby Vinton's classic ballad Lonely is the best song of this album. He takes it to new heights with making a uptempo song out of it. Overall, Akon's Trouble is a nice LP full of smoothly styled R&B, but with mediocre rap, which makes it a little but uneven.

Akon might not have the greatest voice in the music industry but it's very unique and always very pleasant to listen to. His laid back way of singing is one of a kind. He's singing about his personal experiences and not jewelry, cars and women like the average rapper. However, there is a place for Akon in the music world. He got his own style and he's interesting to listen to.

If there's one thing you could say about Akon, it's that he tries harder than other male R&B artist out there. He's not a king like Usher, or even slightly famous like Ciara. He's still new to the R&B world, and a little fish in a big pond. He is a simple artist, just trying to find his way. However, Akon is also very serious musically and his style is tremendously unique and full of his passion for the music. Also, the lack of star-struck production leads to a simpler album, which equals a better album. Trouble can be described in just two words, "surprisingly refreshing". Akon brings a refreshing tone to the genre of R&B with songs you can relate to while combining those with a unique West-Indian accent.