A man with an eye for an opportunity, Akon has lent his plaintive vocals to songs by everyone from Gwen Stefani to Michael Jackson, selling 8m of his own two albums along the way. Freedom preserves the populist catchiness of its predecessors, Trouble and Konvicted, but while they addressed his former hard-knock life and reaction to fame, this one is almost entirely dedicated to his ladyfriends. Akon idealises them, especially the ones who, implausibly, have failed to enjoy life as the Wag of an A-list R&B star and walked out. "Wanna make love right now, now, no/ Wish we never broke up," he mourns on the infuriatingly moreish Right Now. But most of the women in the songs are pushovers for his charm, which is considerable. Despite his hip-hop roots and the presence of guest rappers such as Lil Wayne, it's Akon's buoyant pop sensibility that prevails.
CD review: Akon: Freedom
Caroline Sullivan writes about rock and pop for the Guardian