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Showing 1-10 of 26 reviews(3 star). See all 169 reviews
on March 23, 2011
I'm a bit disappointed with this album. Not to say it is bad, but it lacks an overall message. Where is the intro poem? I don't know what happened in the studio but I think the producer had too much say in creating the album. Most of the songs are featuring some singer who is overly autotuned (didn't Jay-Z kill that?) From what I can hear, he never got evil with his lyrics. Where are the painfully honest rhymes about war, drugs, and media? You get a taste of it but nothing like what you heard in "The Cool." Also, there is too much focus on the beat, which drowns out his voice and sounds like pop music.

Now that I got that out of the way, after I played it a few times "Lasers" began to grow on me. The songs are catchy and get stuck in my head throughout the day, and it comes with a sense of optimism. I still bought the album and I will most certainly buy the next one. I'm just waiting for L.U.P.End if it still exists.
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on March 24, 2011
I'm a huge fan of Lupe and could not wait for this album. My expectations were quite high after the classic "The Cool." Unfortunately Lasers does not even come close to matching the brilliance of its predecessors. It's obvious the negative impact Atlantic Records had on this album. It tries to be more mainstream, but this is not who Lupe is. Also I wasn't a big fan of political nature of some of the songs. It was way too over the top on occasions. Hopefully on "Food and Liquor 2" Lupe goes back to producing high quality music along the lines of his first two albums.
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on May 15, 2011
I admit.. I'm not the biggest Lupe 'fan'.. but I do like his past albums and respect him as a lyricist / artist. This one.. was 'alright'. I liked the first 4 tracks or so and the final 3.. so that's over half. But somewhere in the middle it lacked soul.. direction.. felt like it was the fillers to complete the album or something. Anyways.. hardcore Lupe fans will undoubtedly enjoy the whole thing. But if you're like me.. you'll rip it and give it someone who really likes the dude (female friend).
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on August 31, 2017
I liked about 5 cuts off of this albums!... but very upset "I'm Beamin'" was not on this C/D!
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on March 21, 2011
If you were expecting the breath of fresh blood of Food and Liquor or the darker, deeper lyricism of The Cool, you're going to be disappointed by Lasers. There are a few echoes of Lupe's past talent (Till I Get There, All Black Everything), but there must have been a message coming from somewhere to "Dumb it Down". lupEND this is not. Wait another 4 years.
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on December 9, 2012
This is a so-so record. It would probably work well in a spin class. I guess the production (over production) kind of sucks the life out of it.
I'm still a fan.
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on March 11, 2011
Not a great album sounds like dumb stuff that comes out of the radio,only liked like about 4 songs and that one with trey songs is terrible f@$k u Atlantic records, I hope lupe comes out with a better one soon lupe still the man just not really in lasers I give it a 3/5
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on October 1, 2011
The product was good but had a crack on it and it look like it was open but some one put the plastic over it.
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on March 8, 2011
Lupe Fiasco's long-awaited "Lasers" has finally been released. I've given it a quick listen and it sounds like it will reward some deeper listening. One problem: Amazon didn't label this download as a "clean" version. Hope I can get a refund or a free album download out of this. Poor form, Amazon.
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on March 26, 2011
Lupe Fiasco always got more flak than he deserves. Underground hip-hop fans view Lupe as ersatz Mos Def and Talib Kweli, rather than appreciating his unique gifts. Meanwhile, mainstream listeners never got over the "skateboard rapper" stigma that followed Lupe after "Kick, Push" hit the airwaves, and ignored him over the gaudy mindlessness of "Gucci Mane" and "Wakka Flocka Flame". But one only needs to hear tracks like "Hurt Me Soul", "American Terrorist" or "Little Weapon" to witness Lupe's thematic flexibility and multi-layered lyricism that puts many modern rappers to shame (especially the overplayed Drake and Nicki Minaj). Lupe's 'Food & Liquor' continued where Kanye West's "The College Dropout" left off, and is arguably one the best rap albums of the last decade.

For `Lasers', Lupe confronts yet another critic deriding him for being too deep: his label, Atlantic Records. Unfortunately, they have more influence than the disgruntled rap fan expecting club hits. Despite the combined 7 Grammy nominations 'Food & Liquor' (2006) and 'The Cool' (2008) received, the lack of #1 singles disappointed Atlantic, and they urged Lupe to go for mass appeal. Translation: don't be very thought provoking, or "too lyrical", as Soulja Boi insultingly stated about Lupe on Vibe magazine. Well congratulations! You guys got your insipid wish.

Listening through 'Lasers', it's easy to tell where Lupe's persona strains to break through Atlantic's corporate compromise. Singles "Till I Get There" and "Break the Chain" has Lupe complacently uttering half-hearted announcements about his drive to reach a better future. The production replaces the immersive tunes that supplemented Lupe's lyrics before, and instead goes for generic sounds and choruses that hardly differ from the usual radio fare. A few songs go for dance song tempo (again, "Break the Chain"), or for the sports anthem ("The Show Goes On"; big surprise it's now played on ESPN/NCAA promos). As aspirations for pop recognition rises, Lupe's identity slips.

Take "Words I Never Said", featuring Skylar Green. It's going for the appeal of the Eminem/Rihanna duet, "Love the Way You Lie" - Skylar even sounds like a Rihanna expy - but going that route drowns out Lupe's thoughtful lyrics to the catchier, more banal chorus given by the singer. It's a big reason I loathed "Love the Way You Lie" (a weak track in Eminem's otherwise solid 'Recovery'). Adding to insult is Lupe's voice being auto-tuned through the ordeal (thanks, T-Pain).

And then some tracks appear with conflicting guest stars. Trey Songz's lady chasing lyrics clash against Lupe's more chaste opinion towards his female listeners. Meanwhile, when John Legend comes into the album closer "Never Forget You", the result is...peculiar. Before this, never would have I compared Legend to Coldplay frontman Chris Martin. No offense to either artist - I've enjoyed works from both - but like much of 'Lasers', the inclusion feels awkward.

And yet, in spite of Atlantic's meddling, 'Lasers' isn't as terrible as it should be. Listeners can still hear Lupe's sociopolitical commentary sprinkled throughout the album. On "Words I Never Said", Lupe attacks mainstream news stations for being flat-out racist (Fox News) or too focused on gossip fodder (CNN), while giving Obama and politicians a big thumbs down. With "The Show Goes On" and parts of "Beautiful Lasers", Lupe raises the spirits of troubled youth who want to escape inner city confinement, while ridiculing everyone who wants to suppress them into a predictable box. "State Run Radio" takes a deserved shot at commercial radio, ringtone rappers, and the corporate machine that fuels the existence of both. In "All Black Everything," Lupe envisions a black America that avoided the chronic suffering that trailed them after being freed, post-Civil War. Too bad that's the sole example of Lupe really going abstract.

Because of 'Lasers' being reduced to a dozen tracks, and because much of Lupe's signature lyrical depth was omitted, it feels incomplete compared to 'Food & Liquor' and 'The Cool'. While I liked 'Lasers' enough the first few playthroughs, it doesn't have the longevity of its predecessors. It's difficult not to be conspiratorial minded about `Lasers', knowing that it wouldn't have even been released, had it not been for rabid fans protesting outside Atlantic's building last year. Lupe clearly had more to say, and if he had the freedom to do LupE.N.D., it would've been marvelous. Legendary, even. Instead, the required five albums on his contract reduced his master plan into churning out the marginalized 'Lasers'.

Lupe himself doesn't completely loathe 'Lasers', though it's easy to see that personal frustration took a toll on him. With all the references of getting knocked down and tempting suicide on "Beautiful Lasers", you can't blame him for feeling exhausted. However, Lupe assures fans that he's not giving up the fight, because kids trapped in the ghetto need to hear a voice that's telling them it's okay that you think differently, and that they deserve better than what they've been given from society. Those are statements worth applause. But for the night clubs bumping 'Lasers's' synthetic beats into the stereo, it's only filler between "Speakers Going Hammer", "Make it Rain" and "Black & Yellow".
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