Alone featuring will.i.am
Label: Interscope Records*
K'naan's fourth album isn't as political as his earlier work. Once a critic of Western imperialism, here he only offers "Bulletproof Pride," where he and U2's Bono lament child soldiers in his native Africa. Instead, the Somalian-Canadian rapper focuses on breezy topics like personal ambition and love, and his childhood as a street urchin in a fun chop session with Nas on "Nothing to Lose." By puffing up songs like "Better" and "Simple" with soaring melodies, he turns Country into feel-good arena pop-rap. Listen for Keith Richards, of all people, cranking out a solo on "Sleep When We Die."