CD REVIEW! Jay-Z - Magna Carta... Holy Grail

I am a huge Jay-Z fan, but even I was quite disappointed with his latest offering, Magna Carta... Holy Grail. Although Jay-Z surrounds himself with the best talent money can buy - producers include Timbaland and Pharrell Williams; guest performers range from Justin Timberlake (mimicking Adam Levine, for some reason), and Mrs. Carter, BeyoncĂ© – this is his most disappointing disc since 2009’s Kingdom Come. But money can't buy you genuine artistic inspiration. It may be a slick-sounding album, from the Afrobeat rhythms of "BBC" to the Nintendo-inspired warbles and popping metallic percussion on "Tom Ford." But Jay-Z's flow is stunted, his rhymes exceptionally superficial. It's hard to feel much pity for "woes of fame" opener "Holy Grail" when Jay-Z follows it with "Picasso Baby," rhyming about wanting a trillion bucks and a wife that makes love like a prostitute. Surprisingly, The Great Gatsby director Baz Luhrmann liked the disc. He told, "I heard some remarkable pieces from this new album early on but what is really exceptional about the whole work is its diversity. It's not so much that Jay plays by the rules, he just makes them up as he goes along. The pundits will of course pund but Jay just continues to move creatively and unexpectedly above and beyond it all." Mmm...sorry Buz, but this is not a good disc.