This record blows. Its a complete departure from earlier common music and nothing like the old stuff, which is great. This sounds like a Pharrel record. I WANT MY MONEY BACK COMMON. Why did you sell out?
I gotta agree, though it sounds like the record I always expected him to make when that "backpacking fad" was through. The sex-obsessed bump and grind cropped up in all of those pre-2001 albums, he just didn't have producers who could seal the deal, or the confidence that he could justify to his conscious-oriented audience. At least Q-tip is still doing the right thing. Sex is a good thing, it just ain't the only thing.
I couldn't believe my ears upon hearing the first track. I thought it was a joke so I kept skipping to different tracks and it didn't get any better. Has Common given an explanation for this? Has Kanye's influence finally gotten to him?
OK....the four of you are just coming off as stupid to me. First of all he didn't sell out , he just decided to take this album in a different direction. Although his lyrics aren't nearly as thought-provoking as his other albums, he said A LONG TIME AGO that he intended it to be like this. As Far as production goes......I JUST KNOW THAT YOUR NOT SAYING IT'S WEAK, The Neptunes, Mr. DJ, and Kanye(punch drunk love), those names speak for themselves. Now let me ask you a question, why is it that whenever an intelligent MC decides to make a more simple and/or "feel good" track people begin to question whether or not he's losing it? Common wants us to take are "deep" thoughts on a vacation with this album and why not...he's been in the business for close enough to 20 years, we should be happy he's not going on a permanent vacation.
Well, J. Gibson, you be happy. Myself, as a Common fan, see this album as a wasted effort. Common has "dumbed down" his music and for what? Common was (is? Let's not hang him out to dry yet) one of the exceptions in this rap game. An intelligent lyricist that decided to take a higher ground in an industry filled with fakes and Jay-Z wannabes. He has been doing this for most of his career. IMO, this album overall is a departure from that and it just does not sound good. Some of us might come off as stupid to you but that is what this album comes off to some of us. Oh yeah, GO!, was Be's highest charting single and a definite feel good track that sounded better than anything on UMC, IMO.
just listened to the album, IT STINKS. The only listenable track was "Universal Mind Control", and even that song isnt that good. The rest just sounds confused as if Common had no real direction with the music and decided to just go everywhere with it. People will probably say its a good album cause its different, but different doesnt make it good, this is just horrible. As for people saying "Finding Forever" was wack, Ha, this is wack. I found Finding Forever to be quite good. Lets hope his next album "The Believer" brings him back in the right direction as his previous 2 albums with Kanye on the beats.
Why can't he make "feel good" music without corny lyrics and boring flows? I think it's completely possible to make something that is "feel good" and artistically impressive, but he failed at that. I agree that the production is good though, it's Common that came up short.
I totally agree with your review, thank you for remaining astute in your approach without literally annihilating the minority. For Common to remain in the industry for almost 20 years is in and of itself 'success'! Universal Mind Control, is simply another one of those infectious tunes that will either make you want to work up a sweat on the dancefloor or tap your feet in time, have they forgotten 'Planet Rock'???? Oh I'm sorry, I may not be talking to someone from MY era when rap wasn't derived from how many bullets you took to your chest and lived to tell it.
Common has not taken a vacation from his lyrical forthrightness, 'Change' allows you to hear the same asiatic lyrical proliferations that were once heard on 'Like Water For Chocolate'.
The album is mediocre, but not bad. Put it in there w/ Electric Circus, though I was feeling "come close" as a first single more than "universal mind control", which is ok. "Inhale" is an excellent song. The one w/ Kanye is good. Really there's about 7 good songs, 3 songs that I could've done without. I think it's very hard to do a reputable album in under 12 tracks and he did it on "be" & "finding forever"... albums should tell a story and a 10 track album has to be really special to get a story in- there was no story here. I do allow a guy like Common to take a break from thoughtfulness occasionally which he does here but he still needs to make the album cohesive, and this one really isn't. Doesn't suck- just really "fair to middlin'" like the old folks say. Sold mine for 7 bucks on ebay...
I think some people don't "get" this album because they weren't there, or old enough back in the mid-to-late 80s. For me, at least half of the tracks here dip into 80s rap styles, even late 70s/early 80s era rap. Now, having said that, yes, the album's not great, not perfect. But, good or bad, it is good when artists try something different. I like enough of the album to pick it up.