SYNDICATE
Posted by: Dave on January 12, 2009 at 2:08 pm

CommonUniversalMindControlProduction: The Neptunes produced 7 of the 10 songs on here, and bring their signature electro funky hip hop flavor. Some of their tracks are slinky, smooth and dreamy, while others are freaky, bombastic and highly energized. The remaining non-Neptunes beats are generally more reserved and kind of dull by comparison.
Vocals: Common handles all the rapped verses throughout in his classic in laid-back style, while big name guys (Kanye West, Pharrell and Cee-Lo) and lesser known ladies (Martina Topley-Bird and Muhsinah) contribute vocal hooks.
Heavy Rotation tracks: “Gladiator”; “Universal Mind Control”
Medium Rotation tracks: “What A World”
Recommended: In general, the music is far more interesting than the lyrics. Common has been one of the most dependable and talented MCs of the last 15 years, but his lyrics often feel uninspired and, on a few occasions, he’s obnoxiously horny (particular for a guy his age). There are a couple standout tracks that rise far above the mediocrity (see Heavy Rotation tracks above), but overall this is one of the weakest albums in Common’s impressive catalogue.
Grade: B-



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