If your a fan of Common, then by now you'll most likely have noticed there is a pattern with him and his work: He'll put out maybe one or two quality, dope albums in a row, then get comfortable and try to branch out a bit and do something experimental, then after an overall lukewarm reception from the fans, goes right back in and cranks out another gem to make up for the last one. The Dreamer, The Believer is the fruits of his labor after the experiment, and true to the pattern he has established for himself, it is indeed a gem.
Its good to see your favorite artists grow and mature musically over the years, but its even better when they know how to go back to the sound that got you interested in them in the first place. Common definitely does that by wisely linking up with long time collaborator No I.D. to produce the entire album. Despite how well Common and Kanye work together (see Com's album, Be) The chemistry born between these two on wax is awe inspiring, and if you somehow missed out on the last masterpiece created by their said chemestry (Resurrection) then here is a good chance to see what its about. Com really put his foot in this one.
Starting things off on the right foot, the album opens up with "The Dreamer" feat. Maya Angelou, in which Com raps about the many aspects of dreaming to do bigger things. While already being well written by Com, the fantasic and soulful, in your face production from No I.D. punctuated with the wise words of Maya Angelou closing it out really make this a noteworthy track. Easily, my favorite track on the CD.
One thing I really like about this album, and about Common in general, is that theres never too much of one thing or not enough of something on his albums. Its always pretty balanced. Listening to tracks like "The Dreamer", "Blue Sky", "Windows", "The Believer" you get your fill of the concious, positive message in the music Com. Then you get the relfection of success on "Gold" which is more humble than I'm probably making it sound. Then theres the lyrical muscle flexing, chip on the shoulder rap on "Sweet" where you see Com getting at no one in particular (unless it applies to you), and "Raw." Then theres the tracks made for and about the ladies, like "Love I Lost" speaking about a love that got away, "Ghetto Dreams" featuring Nas, where both men spit their descriptions of their ideal woman, and "Cloth" which seems to be the only track that Common speaks his genuine feeling for a woman. And of course, what Common album would be complete without a closing track from Pops, which he gives us on Pop's Belief.
Despite a couple of missteps in the music making, one thing Common has always been consistant about with every album after Resurrection is his conservative use of high profile features. For some rappers this works well because they sound better surrounded by various styles then they do by themselves. Com is nont one of those rappers. You want to hear what this man has to say on every track he's on, and having others interrupt that flow just takes away from the experience. That said however, "Ghetto Dreams" was an excellent exception to that, since Common held it down on his end with two verses and gave just the right amount of lime light to Nas to leave his mark and make it a fire track.
Even though having nothing but praise is highly suspect for a product review, I have a really hard time finding something wrong with this album. I guess if it came down to it, the only gripes I really have with the CD is 1) its length, which clocks in just over 50 minutes, and 2) Pop's Belief. I'm not really feeling this contribution from Pops, mostly because the production just wasnt resonatiing with me the way that his past works have done. No Pops song has ever as of yet, surpassed "Pops Rap III" from Like Water for Chocolate. without the smooth, jazzy instrumentaion I've come to associate with his presence, its just not the same. Its not BAD, but not the same.
Overall, the Dreamer, The Believer is a solid, well developed album, which easily scores a 5/5 in my book. Is it a classic? I'm not so sure yet. Only time will tell, but so far its got a pretty good start. Definitely worth the money. Get it now!
Sweet is the only song that is truly out of place on this album. Common has a moment where he's trying to channel some wanabee gangster and it fails miserably. Other than that one fail everything else on this album is solid. Dreamer, The cloth, Believer are all very strong songs with Commons usual thoughtful approach.
Granted Commons rythmic choice of words have never been overly complex but they work here and they get the job done. Is it a classic, no but hip hop hasn't produced any true classics since.... well lets just say it's been awhile. In that absence one might as well go for someone and something reliable and the Dreamer is just that reliable.
For all Common fans who have been waiting for Common to take it back to Resurrection and add some traces of Like Water for Chocolate, get this album. I had the honor of listening to it in it's entirety and clearly was amazed by the Shaq-sized chip Common had on his shoulder. The first track with Maya Angelou(perfect visual of our ancestors), the smash hit Ghetto Dreams with Nas (SMH, a match made in heaven.), the song with John Legend, and Poppa Common himself sealing the deal, you AUTHENTIC Common fans will appreciate this. Not too long or too short. A dozen tracks of rare hip hop, not hip-pop.
P.S. That reminds me, listen to track 4 as Common personally calls out artists that couldn't "jam in traffic". Get it? Well then, just got the album and pay attention, ok?!!
Most Definitely the best Common album. Hes taken his best aspects from every album and finally wrapped it into one. It seems as if Common found the perfect balance like the album cover seems to depict. The production is on point getting back to straight killa beats and just ripping MC's, but still able to give deep insight into social ills, or just describe everyday life in a extraordinary way. Only thing is I wish they put the song Lets Move was on the album. I don't see how this could get less than 5 mics if this was the old source rating, or anything less than a classic for hip-hop. maybe you techno heads, or cats on some other ** looking for something else, but the real youngins, hip-hop heads, or anybody who care about lyrics in a song and not just the beat alone. This is the album you buy this year.
The Dreamer, The Believer defines Common at his best. I'm a fan of this album because of overall message which is" Dream" "Believe".
In today's tainted music industry, conscious rappers aren't as plentiful as they once were in the early 90s. Today's music is infested with material gains, excessive adultery and drug abuse, which is a product of our society, but shouldn't be glamorized.
Common's "The Dreamer, The Believer" is out to change your perception by feeling your ears with gritty, yet positive lyrics. NO I.D lace Common with top notch beats which is why I consider this album a rear gem.
Common delivers yet another solid album.It may not be on the same classic status such as like water for chocalate,resurrection or be but it's enjoyable none the less.highlights and recomended tracks include the dreamer,ghetto dreams ft. Nas, cloth, raw & the diss track sweet aimed towards wack Drake.No I.D's production was smooth,eccentric,jazzy feel to it.If you like rappers like Nas,a tribe called quest, Wu tang clan,Gang starr,talib kweli, pete rock cl smooth etc... Then this is right up your alley.
I got hook on common when I heard like water for chocolate, but I first bought cd is Electric Circus, since then I've bought every album that came after that, yup even the universal mind control. No I.D. did a wonderful job with the beats, got common back on his prime, love every song and wish all turn into music videos. Mostly windows, cloth and the believer. Common's best work since finding forever, I hope he goes gold with this or atleast an award for having one the best album of 2011, as far as I heard.
I only usually BUY albums for certain atrtists that are out these days... I heard some of the tracks for the Dreamer/The Believer and was very intered..I also heard some great things about it from some friends... Im pretty open minded so I listen to lots of diff types of hip hop....This album is the real hip hop...It was worth the $12.96 and I do recommend it for any average fan. It is easily one of the best albums of the year.. go buy it and support these artists
Been a fan of common since "I Use to Love Her". minus his last album, the sub par effort of UMC, this album more than makes up for it. Another classic under his belt no doubt. From beginning to end this is pure, untapped, unadulterated HIP HOP. While its nice to hear the new blood like J Cole, Common remains untouched in certain aspects. Picked this album up without hearing any of the songs and Iam very much happy I did. NO ID gets huge props because he brought it here. Its a shame hes not on GOOD music no more BUT No ID isnt no drop off from Kanye on the beats. KIDS THIS IS HIP HOP!!!!!!!
Gonna keep this simple. Lyrics are thoughtful,smart,clever & inspiring at times. Delivery is spot on. Common is one of the best. Beats are dope. Wide variety of instruments being used. Definitely a head nodder.
This album is raw, it's dirty, it's dusty, it's dingy. But somehow at the same time, warm, gentle, mellow, sometimes even soothing. This album sounds nostalgic. Like a distant, long-forgotten memory. It sounds like something you may have heard when you were a child. Only you haven't. Buy this album if you love and miss real music and hip-hop.