Monday, December 8, 2008

Universal Mind Control/Commom ~ Review


Remember how some kids stopped being so cute when they realized that many people thought they were so cute? It's like them being cute became pretentious. "Hey, look at me! I'm a cute kid!" Well, this album feels like Common just discovered that he's a sex symbol and now, he's milking his new found symbolism for all it's worth...at least on the first 3 out of 4 tracks...Especially [track 4] Sugar 4 Sex. There are only two producers on this project and Kanye West isn't one of them. The Neptunes and Mr. DJ are the beatsmith tandem on this one. Kanye does make a vocal cameo on the hook for [track 2] Punch Drunk Love.
While listening to this album, I didn't hear what the over all point was. Whereas some albums have some sort of theme running all through them, this one sounds more like he had 10 songs done and the album due date was swiftly approaching. Many of Common's punch-lines leave much to be desired. Exhibit A: "...see them rappers, they be ducking /when Comm be bucking / in the kitchen --cking on the sink, got my mama a mink..." ~ Common on [track 5]. Exhibit B: "Some call me Comm / some call me the bread / you can call me daddy I'm a put you to bed / An appetite for seduction and it gotta be fed / your sexual eruption got you hitting your head on the board &..." ~ Common on [track 2]... any objections?
This album does have a few really nice cuts on it. And even some of the more explicit songs got good beats and you can dance to them. If you're a Common fan, you're probably use to him being more politically aware than you'll find he is on this project. Overall I'd give Universal Mind Control 5 out of 7 Head-Nods. Below you'll find a list of the tracks I think have the "rewind factor".

I'm Thed Weller and I approve this review.

[track 1] The Intro Universal Mind Control is Africa Bambata-ish.


[track 3] Make My Day is a fun song with Cee-Lo Green singing the hook. Sounds a little "Andre 3000-ish" as far as the music is concerned.

[track 4] Sex 4 Sugar is so off-the-wall & seemingly out of character for Common, you might just like it...I did...a little.

[track 6] Gladiator Hard beats and Hard rhymes...are you not entertained? Favorite line from this one, "My words is the sword / My skill is the shield / My life is a style I stay dressed to kill...skinny George Foreman / all in your grill / my rhyme style is blind / it's all in the feel...your guys got you gassed / my flow's a hybrid..." ~ Common

[track 8] Inhale
This one is classic Common. Tight beat with a flow that's saying something.


*Head Nod Scale
1=Don't waste your time like I did mine.
2=Waste your time like I did mine but I dare you to disagree.
3=Well, there was the single.
4=If it were a hand in spades there's "two and a possible".
5=It's a "good" album. Meaning at least 3 or 4 solid songs.
6=Really Good Project. Has the "Rewind Factor" more than once.
7=The number of completion. Great Album. Instant Classic.

5 Comments:

Blogger DJ Rahdu said...

Chicago Tribune: the Common album (is)“more of the same” that “brims with the most trivial and disposable music of [Common’s] career.”

Chicago Sun-Times:
“As superstar producers the Neptunes deliver some of their weakest, most cliched and most phoned-in tracks ever -- heavy on the generic techno thumps,synth burbles and played-out vocoder backing vocals -- one of hip-hop's most accomplished freestylers drops one leaden rap after another. Most are about sex, although there also are a couple of uncharacteristic "ain't I great" boast-fests via ‘Gladiator’ and ‘What a World.’

December 9, 2008 at 4:04 AM  
Blogger Thed Weller said...

& just for the record, I tried NOT to compare this album to his others...I tried to be "objective" and judge this one on it's own merits.

December 9, 2008 at 10:55 AM  
Blogger Simone said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 11, 2008 at 12:57 PM  
Blogger Simone said...

I have to be completely honest...Common has been disappointing me for a while now...maybe he should break out the crochet pants again and maybe he'll channel something with more substance to hold my attention...I keep getting the feeling that he's depending more on gimmicks and tried-and-true methods to keep himself on everyone's radar.

With Common, I feel like the duped lover who wipes the slate clean for her man or woman, and the same disappointments keep getting in the way of a fresh start.

In short, not feeling Universal Mind Control. Even the title of the album kinda bothers me lol.

December 11, 2008 at 1:00 PM  
Blogger Thed Weller said...

maybe a 5- or a 4+? lol! ain't no take backs huh?

December 12, 2008 at 6:25 AM  

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