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4.0 out of 5 stars
Magna Carta Holy Grail
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on 8 November 2013
I've been up on Jay-Z since his on-wax debut in 1990.

He is, without a doubt, the most credible rap star on the planet. This is, however, despite a number of patchy albums sitting next to his classics. The reason why? It's because he has become so much bigger than the music. But you all know this...

So what's this album like? Well, it has some banging contemporary beats. It has some big name features. But does it have the hits? A few... but I think the biggest issue is the fact that some of his rhymes really sound quite lazy and lethargic. Don't tell me the guy on Tom Ford is as hungry as the guy on Dead Presidents back in the day.

And having Justin on the insipid hook of the lead track just left me cold. Some things, a bit like his past singles such as Sunshine and City Is Mine, just sound too contrived.

But Picasso and other tracks on here still bang hard, and this still ranks as a hip-hop essential for 2013.
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on 24 September 2013
A very solid album with only a few trakcs that miss hte target.

Its fun and very enjoyable. The ideal summer car album.

His lyricism is past its best, but he can still take advantage of some very good production.

Standouts are Versus, Beach Is Better, Tom Ford, Picasso Baby, and F**kwithmeyouknowigotit.

Only duds are a couple of the closing tracks, and also the Beyonce collaboration. Their musical chemistry is so often weak on Jay's albums, and On The Run is no exception. A Beyonce song wrongly placed on a rap album.

I score this album 8/10. The best since The Black Album. Whilst its not a classic Jay album, it still shines over anything else commercial rap can put out bar Yeezus.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 4 August 2013
Firstly the whole Samsung deal masked this album and the whole 'event' feels rather corporate and for a hip hop album that's the bi opposite of the genre. But rules are there to be broken and jay z has always been on the tounge of every hip hop fan either loved or hated and from non rap fans he's up there with eminem for people trying get cool points. So when all the hype has died down how did the album do.

My opinion.... It's erm ok. Jay has done a lot better. This albums feels rushed, short on new lyrical content, you don't need rap about drug dealing in your 40s when your a millionaire so I get it but you don't need to make nearly every song about being a millionaire. It's good at first then soon bores. The best jigga is the deeper songs or if he is fronting about money then do it over classic club beats. Timbland is good at beats but a whole album full is too much, need that kanye, that 9th wonder, just blaze.., basically like blue print 2 which was a classic.

Holy grail is a good opener and starts well but then becomes so so for the rest until the last couple. If jay had put this album down to 10-11 songs it would of been better and most hip hop classics are normally the shorter albums think nas- illmatic.

So what would of made this album better... Less songs,deeper lyrics,different produces and less corporate publicity... Sounds familiar? Yes kanye west- yeezus which is gettin 5/5 everywhere and is a classic. Jay came around the same time as this album and drake uploads plus you got earl sweatshirt and big sean dropping, mac miller and j cole. Jay is no longer a big fish in a small pond like years back there's now serious completion and jay can do better than this.

So if your a jay z fan.,, buy it,join the collection but don't get your hopes up. If your looking at getting into jay z then buy reasonable doubt,blueprint and 3 and defo watch the throne which is when jay shines when having competition on records see bbc on this album. It's ok but not as good as it could of been.

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on 31 December 2013
I love Jay Z. I bought his blueprint 3 album and loved that. I also bought his joint album with Kanye West - Watch the Throne - absolutely love that album. Now this album, Magna Carta, such a let down. I'd say only about three great tracks on it, a few ok take it or leave it tracks and 3 tracks I really don't like. It's as if he's run out of ideas and he's trying too hard. I would not recommend this album.
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on 8 November 2013
Magna Carta Holy Grail!?

What should you expect? Classic after classic after classic; non-stop listening to thoroughly entertaining music!!

This album is arguably Jay Z @ his best, it is only comparable to his previous classics, such as Reasonable Doubt, The Blueprint, and The Black album.

Make sure you get yours :))
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on 13 May 2014
What a rubbish, lazy, uninspiring piece of music. I challenge you to walk away from this album with anything in your head but a headache. Compared to the rest of Jay-Z's work, this is totally sub-par. It lacks any hooks, any new or surprising rhymes, or really anything that kicks the ball forward in terms of rap/hip-hop. Totally disappointing.
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on 22 February 2014
Have to say the production outdoes the lyrics and flow on this one. I waited for the album with baited breath and it just didn't meet my expectations. Have about 3 tracks which I rotate - including the 55 second long 'Beach is Better' - and I don't listen to the rest....strange but true.
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on 28 January 2014
this album is just incredible Holy Grail & withmeyouknowigotit my favourite songs a must download MP3 album so purchase this
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
If you're buying the "Limited Edition" over the standard for the extra track "Open Letter" that is listed in the product info,as I did. You don't need to as the track isn't actually on the CD anyway. At least the "Limited Edition" packaging is nice although encasing the CD in a cardboard sleeve always makes it harder to get out without leaving finger prints & marks...

That aside, on early listens this feels reminiscent of Jay Z's 2006 "Comeback" album, "Kingdom Come." In that, the production is as slick as you would expect but only a couple of tracks really stand out right away. Holy Grail, which actually feels more like a Justin Timberlake track featuring Jay Z, and Part II (On The Run). Which was actually a pleasant surprise to me as I was figuring it was just the token duet with Beyonce but is actually a very good mellow track which seems to be a continuation of sorts, of '03 Bonnie & Clyde.

I have a feeling the album as a whole will reward repeated listens though and you will be able to appreciate the tracks and their elements more, the more you hear them.
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on 18 August 2013
Another great album from Jay z. Get it if you are a fan, not his best work but keeping up with relevant music styles. When i bought this the description lists open letter as a bonus track but this is incorrect this just has special packaging.
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