Akon got his start with the harder R&B and without that I doubt very few would buy into him anymore. The album’s first track, "Shake Down," is a welcome re-introduction to Akon that also features some catchy vocals and decent songwriting. Other songs of this nature are the absolutely blazing "Blown Away" which features a standout verse by Styles P. Similar topics are covered on the melancholy "The Rain," the G’d up "Gangsta Bop," the introspective "Tired of Runnin’" and the equally introspective, and, dare I say, soulful "Once in a While." This material ranges from slightly clichéd to even slightly revealing. Even as clichéd as some of it may be, that doesn’t make it any less entertaining, however.
Like any modern R&B/Rap album, there has to be a club joint or two. Akon covers that beautifully with the Eminem feature "Smack That." The lyrics are typically booty, but for what it is, it’s as enjoyable as anything else on the record. Eminem, however poor his rhymes have been as of late, actually manages to spit a lyrically proficient verse here. Snoop Dogg shows up a track later to guest on the sexy "I Wanna Love You" and, as much as I can’t say I appreciate Snoop’s appearance, the song is solid strictly for Akon’s verses and his inimitable chorus. Snoop is as forgettable as ever, but Akon holds it down nicely otherwise.
Although far from a club banger, "Mama Africa" fits nowhere else on this album. A song dedicated to Akon’s homeland, it is, without a doubt, the most unique track on the LP. The subject matter is surprisingly unique and it gives the album some added topical variety other than women, guns, drugs, and other such topics.
A 12 track album and, at that, unsurprisingly solid, Konvicted is co-produced almost entirely by Akon. The work he puts in is undeniably fantastic and, even when the production doesn’t work, his vocals are never lax. His energy level and his voice, which has become a hallmark of his style, make each song that much better. But the production rarely falters, and when it’s good, it’s far beyond sufficient.