I personally believe this album is a good, solid album for an artist 1st release. He has great material to stand behind and maybe perform should he choose the right singles. I also believe that the features that he chose to help assist on the album did a great job complimenting the feel of the overall project. "TV on the Radio" is a great example of this because K'Naan WRECKED his verse in a way that totally through me off gaurd. From Chrisette Michelle to Jasmine Sullivan, he did a great job in finding the voices to help him get out his message.
-Lyrically he's strong as ever although the punchlines are toned down, but thats excusable because he replaced the jokes with substance for example his tracks 'Shades' in which he touches on the complex of being black with different skin tones, and his song "Diary" just screams Grammy based upon the subject matter alone.
-Production wise, i believe he played it safe. He didnt go overboard with drafting the "who's who" of production but he did a great job of enlisting producers that complimented his complex flow scheme with backdrops of simple yet harmonious and often inspirational tunes.
The only negative thing i can say about this album is "WHY IN THE H-E-DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS DID HE PUT GUCCI MANE ON A TRACK!!!" that is my only beef because "Pretty Girls" was such a dope song all over until Gucci Mane stepped up to the mic! He sounded so bad, and neither of their sounds connect with each other so wtf?!? whoever was responsible for that hook-up defintiely needs to be fired!
What ultimately hurt this album is the fact that it was greatly undershipped. I went to a total of 9 stores to purchase a physical copy and all of them sent me home empty handed. i dont know what the deal with this is, but i was really upset because i definitely want to support artist that concentrate on making good music so that we can continue to thrive. so Mr. Wale if your reading this, please storm your label office and ask them 'wth!' haha
Overall: i give this album a B+ (would of been an A without the gucci mane feature) so if your curious, go pick up a copy and listen to it for yourself