Freedom is a radical overhaul of Akon's approach to music-making. His nasal vocal tone and catchy melodies are still present, but the third installment of his convict saga deviates from his previous mix of R&B, Hip Hop, and Reggae. In its place is an opening pace set by several Eurodance-inspired songs. The electric beat of "Right Now" sounds as if it was plucked straight from the Ibiza club scene, and "Beautiful" is reminiscent of Alice DeeJay's dance hit "Better Off Alone." Akon embraces a strange direction on these party-ready songs, especially on the dangerously familiar "Troublemaker." An electric guitar and handclap backing does little to improve upon the flat thug charm lyrics like, "I'm that type of guy that like kissin'/I'm that type of guy that will pop the clip in."
Akon recovers from his early stumbles by continuing the message from his 2007 hit "Don't Matter." Co-producer Hakim gives "Be With You" an electronic reggae backbeat as Akon reassures his love that nothing will stand in their way. The song illustrates his decidedly more cheerful tone. Though he has uplifting songs in his catalogue, Akon's previous work relied more on crime stories and heart-tugging moments of despair. Other than a few reflective moments on his past sins, Freedom is about a troubled man's search for serenity. "Sunny Day" captures this made-it-through-the-storm experience, as does the less-than-gracious "I'm So Paid." As Young Jeezy [click to read] and Lil Wayne [click to read] tread familiar waters by flaunting their wealth, Akon relapses into hustler territory. In the midst of talking about the wonders of the good life, he claims, "I'm the boss, it only takes one call/For Jah to hit you up and dump you off and that's all/(Guess what) I won't be taking that fall/Homie, I got cake, that's what I'm paying him for."
Temporary threats aside, Freedom finds Akon focused on reaping the benefits of success. Whether singing about his family's immigrant struggles or his own misguided path, he just wants all roads to lead to a place of contentment. Akon has had plenty of reasons to sulk in his life, but he would rather party, love, and revel in his progress. Having already been locked up and convicted, he'd chooses not to focus on the dark days that has inspired his music. Freedom is Akon's chance to break away from his many trials and head towards more victories.