I have minor grievances with the album, on first listen I thought there was a little too much singing. Upon my 2nd listen, things seemed to fall into place a little more. I think that's because I read a breakdown of the flow of the album, and it made more sense at that point. Plus, Cole has always harmonized.
(A) January 28th
Don't like the bar at all, seems like a throwaway - "Show me NY's ladder I'll climb it
and set the bar up so high you gotta get Obama to force the Air Force to find it
(A) A tale of two Citiez
Fucking dope, but seems a little drake influenced let me know if you hear it?
Don't like production entirely. Love the beat at the beginning, wish it never switched at around 1:00. I like what he's saying but don't like the delivery of the hook (yes I know what song it's from)
Don't like the flow when he raps doesn't seem to match perfectly and he's done better flow wise. But I like the song overall. Example -
Everything else A+ to me. Different strokes for different folks but St. Tropez is sick. Little D' Angelo, little Outkast, little Badu, and many more older soul/african acts that I can't think of off the top atm.
Overall a solid album, there isn't a wow factor, nothing that made me say "yo rewind that b". But, that's not what this album is about or portraying. It's about his honesty and growth as a man, and artist.
Update : Total score changed from B+ to A-
The more I listen to this album the more I appreciate it and understand it as a whole. On my third listen I was playing it for someone and realized how much I appreciated the songs and how I felt listening to them. I also downloaded J. Cole's David Letterman "Be Free" performance and added it as the last song (before Note to self) on the album. Works well.