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Iggy Azalea - The New Classic Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 4.75
Musicianship 4.75
Lyrics 4.75
Production 4.75
Creativity 4.75
Lasting Value 4.75
Reviewer Tilt 4.75
Final Verdict: 48%
Member Ratings
Vocals 9.5
Musicianship 7
Lyrics 6
Production 8
Creativity 6
Lasting Value 7
Reviewer Tilt 9
Average: 75%

Iggy Azalea - The New Classic

Reviewed by: Jake Jenkins (05/01/14)
Iggy Azalea - The New Classic
Release Date: April 22, 2014
Record Label: Island


Hip-hop is obsessed with the idea of releasing a classic. Not that it doesn't happen in other genres, but in the rap world there's this obsession with it that's hard to find elsewhere. Fans are always quick to claim something is a classic when it drops, and likewise detractors are always ready to refute those claims. There's also the discussions revolving around albums that are already considered classics, whether or not they deserve that status, and what that criteria consists of. You don't have to go far to find conversations like these on hip-hop boards across the web.

It isn't only the fans. Artists are constantly striving to put out a classic, and a lot of the time you hear rappers claiming that their album is already a classic on the album itself. Sometimes it is, but more often than not, these are albums that prop themselves up on the claim of being a classic when there's really nothing to distinguish them from other albums of its type. Iggy Azalea's The New Classic doesn't hide the fact that it's trying to be a classic, it's right there in the title. The actual content of the album, however, suggests that it definitely is not a classic.

Which would be fine, but even when judging this for what it really is, it still comes up short. It's filled to the brim with completely generic pop-rap songs that are aiming straight for top 40. Sometimes it works, as with “Fancy,” a smash hit that is bearable if only for its Charli XCX feature and slick production, but elsewhere, like on the utterly unbearable brostep infused rap of “Change Your Life,” Iggy's intentions couldn't be more clear. Way too much of the album feels like blatant pandering, chasing fads and sticking to current popular trends.

Iggy Azalea is capable as a rapper, but she isn't entirely convincing. Born and raised in Australia, Azalea spits her bars with a thick southern rap accent, and even before you're made aware of her origins, you can still tell it's completely put on. It's not like other rappers haven't sported a southern accent when they were from anywhere but the south, but few sound as awkward and out of place as Iggy's does. It's entirely possible to get past it, and maybe it won't even bother you at all, but for most it'll be an acquired taste at best and impossible to get behind at worst.

As for lyrical content, there really isn't much here to chip away at. There's a lot of not caring about haters and getting money, the latter of which isn't so bad considering her background. “No money, no family, 16 in the middle of Miami,” Iggy tells us on “Work.” That's about as far into her back story that we get here, and it's a real shame since Azalea's point of view is completely fresh and new in the genre. Coming from Australia to the United States to pursue a career in hip-hop is lunacy-- doing it as a female is damn near impossible. So the boasts of making it are more than deserved, but they don't do enough to give the album any real significance without a story behind them, and the muddled mess of a narrative we get from songs like “Impossible Is Nothing” does nothing to give us a clear picture, or any picture at all really, of what she's been through.

The best thing the album has going for it is in its production, and even on that end it misses far more often than it hits. Certain songs like the aforementioned “Fancy” and “Goddess” have stellar beats, but others double down on the current EDM trend(s) and are loaded up with huge synths and bass drops, like on “Work” and “Fuck Love,” that end up sounding lifeless. And for good measure, there's some hazy, smoked out production on stuff like “Don't Need Y'all” that fails to distinguish itself from the other countless Noah '40' Shebib rip offs.

Above all else, The New Classic is just too boring for anyone to take its name seriously. 12 tracks is pretty short for an album in the hip-hop world, but this thing felt like it dragged on for as long as even the most overstuffed rap albums. Some might argue that I'm reading into the name of the album too much, and that's fair, but when that's what you title your album and this is what you fill it with, the elephant in the room needs to be addressed. Still, even with a different name, the criticisms of the album would remain. There's nothing to really chew on here, nothing to keep you coming back. It's simply an album full of pop-rap songs that fails to light a spark even on that level.

4.75/10
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 29
06:16 AM on 05/02/14
#2
Jeff_Ryan
easy come and easy go, whatever
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She's insufferable

"Problem" is such a jam though
06:56 AM on 05/02/14
#3
assasiNATE
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I'm so FAAAncy!
08:17 AM on 05/02/14
#4
Drew Beringer
Senior Editor - @drewberinger - Locked Groove
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I like this record haha
08:33 AM on 05/02/14
#5
hometownblues_
Sam
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I love "Work" to death for some reason, but after listening to her other stuff, this review doesn't surprise me.
08:42 AM on 05/02/14
#6
Ryan Dennehy
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i probably wont listen to this
08:54 AM on 05/02/14
#7
the seventeenth
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Will probably listen because of Swaggy P
09:26 AM on 05/02/14
#8
Arry
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agree with the review. i fuckin' loved trap gold, and her singles after that. i was so stoked to listen to it, but i couldn't even get through it. this was super generic and boring.
09:45 AM on 05/02/14
#9
Blake Solomon
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She's insufferable

"Popular" is such a jam though
"popular"??
10:21 AM on 05/02/14
Jeff_Ryan
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Meant "Problem" - had a song called "Popular" on when i was typing

10:36 AM on 05/02/14
wordsAREcancer
we are not consistent!
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I agree with most of this review. I was so disappointed when I listened to the preview clips on itunes :( I could tell that every track was a song made to break top 40, and her sound changed a lot. Sounds too clean and radio friendly. UGH. I still love Iggy but this album is bleh. She should've stuck with the style she had on TrapGold, that's what I was expecting her debut to sound like. I only like 5 of the tracks on The New Classic.

It's clear how much I'm disappointed...haha. But it's working, she's #1 on the charts n shit, she's blowing up and good for her. I just hope she kinda goes back to her old style next album...
10:37 AM on 05/02/14
Jake Jenkins
https://twitter.com/jakej654
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I agree with most of this review. I was so disappointed when I listened to the preview clips on itunes :( I could tell that every track was a song made to break top 40, and her sound changed a lot. Sounds too clean and radio friendly. UGH. I still love Iggy but this album is bleh. She should've stuck with the style she had on TrapGold, that's what I was expecting her debut to sound like. I only like 5 of the tracks on The New Classic.

It's clear how much I'm disappointed...haha. But it's working, she's #1 on the charts n shit, she's blowing up and good for her. I just hope she kinda goes back to her old style next album...
Ive never heard trap gold, if it's different than this I might need to check it out. All I had heard from her before this were a few singles and guest verses, none of which did anything for me aside from Fancy
10:42 AM on 05/02/14
Blake Solomon
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Meant "Problem" - had a song called "Popular" on when i was typing

that's what i thought. and yes, that song rules.
10:45 AM on 05/02/14
Jeff_Ryan
easy come and easy go, whatever
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that's what i thought. and yes, that song rules.
I've had if on repeat all week so the fact that I got the title wrong is vv embarrassing
10:46 AM on 05/02/14
wordsAREcancer
we are not consistent!
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Ive never heard trap gold, if it's different than this I might need to check it out. All I had heard from her before this were a few singles and guest verses, none of which did anything for me aside from Fancy


Yeah, check out the TrapGold and Ignorant Art mixtapes. I like TrapGold more though. Her old sound was more of a Southern hip hop/trap/EDM vibe, I digged it a lot, and went along with her faux Southern rapping more. UGH I just feel the production on most of the new songs are so basic and boring! "Work" will always be an awesome song however. And if you search on youtube for "Leave It", it's basically a demo version of "Fancy" without Charli, and I think it sounds sooooo much better. WHY IGGY WHYYYY ha. Ha.
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