In the last two years, Akon's weathered both controversy and a gazillion hits. So perhaps he was wary of taking risks on his third album ("I'm that type of guy that likes kissing/ I'm that type that will pop the clip in," he says on "Troublemaker," sounding defensive in the face of challenges to his cred). Or maybe he's just resting on his laurels (and that Auto-Tuner!). Whatever the reason, Freedom feels kind of phoned in. The hits are here, as are plenty of dancefloor-ready beats, but (with the exception of the poignant "Against the Grain") none of it recaptures Konvicted's magic.