Common Finds Himself On Reviewers’ Minds

Jul 30th, 2007 // 3 Comments

commoncover.jpgEvery week, we round up the all-important, all-summarizing last sentences of the biggest new-music reviews. Today’s entry is Common’s Finding Forever, which hits stores in the U.S. tomorrow:

• “When an album’s missteps still convey its overall passion, though, admiration remains. Does Finding Forever improve on the questionably classic Be? In some ways, yes. Kanye experiments more (hear his mimicking of Dilla’s off-kilter sample chopping on “Break My Heart”), while Common continually pushes boundaries by simply spitting genuinely. Truthfully, though, comparisons aren’t necessary. Once again, Common makes timeless hip-hop seem easy.” [XXL]
• “To keep from sounding didactic, Common has a counterbalance: the lush, tuneful backup devised by Kanye West (the album’s executive producer, main track producer and guest rapper) and others. Rich strings, cooing voices and keyboards hinting at 1970s soul suffuse the album with aspiration, while in love songs like ‘I Want You’ (produced by will.i.am) Common sounds genuinely forlorn. Common has a lot on his mind, but he and Mr. West understand that his messages travel best when the ride is smooth.” [NYT]
• “The album is both lush and gritty, integrating awkwardly hacked samples, rowdy percussion, and sweet backing vocals from neo-soul hipsters like Dwele (Slum Village) and Bilal (Erykah Badu, Jill Scott). With that kind of muscle, Common need not worry about watching his mouth. B+” [EW]
• “It could just be a matter of an album needing the right audience: Its over-earnest soul-rap production and righteous indignation might strike a nerve with anyone who’s under the impression that “real rap” needs to be saved from some evil influence (like, I don’t know, Southern tracks with hooks or whatever). The problem is, Common already brought this “real” hip hop back two years ago, and by presenting a weaker, more frivolous and significantly duller version of it, he’s risking falling into the same routine of formulaic coasting as the white-tee strawmen older heads gripe about. Call it Be Minus, and let me know when he’s found his spark again. 5.6” [Pitchfork]

  1. bambino

    Be Minus! So clever! STFU pfork

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