Eardrum [Explicit Lyrics]

( 5 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
Brooklyn wordsmith Talib Kweli returns with his career-defining sixth disc on his own label, Blacksmith Music. With production by will.i.am, Hi-Tek, and Kanye West and guest appearances by Norah Jones, Musiq Soulchild, and Justin Timberlake, Ear Drum delivers from start to finish.
All Music Guide - Marisa Brown
Although the most salient attribute of hip-hop is the words, the production behind it is equally important. It turns rhymes into song, into something you can feel, something that moves you. And while Talib Kweli certainly has the lyrical aspect down, often his albums -- and to be fair, those of other so-called "conscious MCs" -- tend to ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
Brooklyn wordsmith Talib Kweli returns with his career-defining sixth disc on his own label, Blacksmith Music. With production by will.i.am, Hi-Tek, and Kanye West and guest appearances by Norah Jones, Musiq Soulchild, and Justin Timberlake, Ear Drum delivers from start to finish.
All Music Guide - Marisa Brown
Although the most salient attribute of hip-hop is the words, the production behind it is equally important. It turns rhymes into song, into something you can feel, something that moves you. And while Talib Kweli certainly has the lyrical aspect down, often his albums -- and to be fair, those of other so-called "conscious MCs" -- tend to suffer from a dearth of good beats. Of course there are still decent tracks, great tracks even, but there's also a lot of filler-sounding material, warm and slow and utterly boring, that deadens the overall flow and power of the album and twists Kweli's powerful vocals into dripping preachiness that lacks oomph behind the pretension and self-indulgence. This same affliction besets Eardrum, the MC's first release on his own Blacksmith label, which, despite its wide selection of producers -- Kanye West, will.i.am, Pete Rock, Just Blaze, Madlib, and Hi-Tek, to name some -- never quite seems to take off, to claim the beat and make it its, and Kweli's, own. The most egregious example of this is in the Afrika Bambaataa-alluding "The Perfect Beat," which sports the worst production on the entire record, simple and cheap-sounding, KRS-One's tired rhymes not helping matters. Nothing else is quite this bad, a lot of it is good in fact, but it is this lack of subtlety, of giving the superlative and then failing to measure up, that bogs down the album. Kweli's trying to single-handedly save rap, practically calling himself its messiah, like in the intro, "Everything Man," where different people talk about the first time they heard him. It's more than a little self-indulgent, but fortunately the MC quickly moves into other territory, discussing social problems, generally those that revolve around poverty ("Eat to Live"), the state of rap and his own place in it ("Listen"), and women ("Hot Thing"). But these are topics that have all been heard before, and perhaps because of that Kweli expands his themes, trying to diversify his rhymes, from the not as catchy "Jesus Walks" ripoff of "Hostile Gospel, Pt. 1" to the tiresome tribute to his children of "Oh My Stars" to the half empowerment, half celebration of a one-night stand (featuring none other than Norah Jones) of "Soon the New Day." Unfortunately, these same moments are also where he seems to be stretching himself too thin, going too far, trying too hard. At 20 tracks and nearly 80 minutes, Eardrum is both too much and too little, never quite understanding exactly what it needs to be. There are certainly strong moments here: Kweli's flow and rhymes are outstanding, and beats by Just Blaze, Hi-Tek, and Kanye West (who, despite his generally abysmal MC skills, comes out with a pretty decent line in "In the Mood": "Only Michael Richards saying, only much blacker/So if he say nigga, then I'm a say -- /Is this a Ritz? Carlton dressed like fresh like just like") are all good, clearly produced by well-practiced and knowledgeable minds, but maybe it's an over-aggrandized sense of purpose, the desire to be and do too much, that keeps the album and the rapper from truly achieving much at all.
Entertainment Weekly
It's a groovy jam session with thinky lyrics about decadence ("Soon the New Day," featuring Norah Jones) and empowerment ("More or Less"). [A] Josette Compton

It's a groovy jam session with thinky lyrics about decadence ("Soon the New Day," featuring Norah Jones) and empowerment ("More or Less"). [A] Josette Compton
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/21/2007
  • Label: Warner Bros / Wea
  • UPC: 093624993285
  • Catalog Number: 277244
  • Sales rank: 105,099

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Everything Man (3:16)
  2. 2 My Weather Report (4:35)
  3. 3 Hostile Gospel, Pt. 1 (Deliver Us) (5:23)
  4. 4 Say Something (3:42)
  5. 5 Country Cousins (4:31)
  6. 6 Holy Moly (2:08)
  7. 7 Eat to Live (3:07)
  8. 8 In the Mood - Kanye West (3:55)
  9. 9 Soon the New Day (4:02)
  10. 10 Give 'Em Hell - Coi Mattison (4:27)
  11. 11 More or Less (4:40)
  12. 12 Stay Around (4:15)
  13. 13 Hot Thing - will.i.am (3:48)
  14. 14 Space Fruit (Interlude) - Sa-Ra (1:31)
  15. 15 The Perfect Beat (3:49)
  16. 16 Oh My Stars (3:41)
  17. 17 Listen!!! (3:58)
  18. 18 Go with Us (3:59)
  19. 19 Hostile Gospel, Pt. 2 (Deliver Me) (4:21)
  20. 20 The Nature (5:01)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Talib Kweli Primary Artist
Roy Ayers Vibes
Cut Chemist scratching
Ryan Zoidis Saxophone
Kendra Ross Vocals
Eric Krasno Synthesizer, Bass, Guitar, Strings, Keyboards
Adam Deitch Drums, Keyboards, fender rhodes, Wurlitzer
Rashawn Ross Trumpet
Steve Pageot Flute
Maurice Brown Trumpet
Fyre Dept Guitar, Drums, Keyboards
Brooklyn Youth Chorus Vocals
Mela Machinko Vocals
Dellwyn Gilkets Drums
Amani Fela Greene Vocals, Rap
Diani Eshe Greene Vocals
Coi Mattison Vocals
Technical Credits
DJ Hi-Tek Producer, Engineer
Sonia Sanchez Poetry
Chris Gehringer Mastering
Kelly Holland Composer
Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth Producer
Joel Hamilton Engineer
Tom Whalley Executive Producer
E. Jones Producer
Talib Kweli Executive Producer
will.i.am Producer
Kanye West Producer
Anthony Kilhoffer Vocal Engineer
A Kid Called Roots Producer
Justin Timberlake Producer
Just Blaze Producer
Eric Krasno Producer, Engineer, drum programming
Adam Deitch Programming, Producer
Corey Smyth Executive Producer
Ethan Willoughby Engineer
Ryan Kennedy Engineer
Superstar Dave Dar Engineer, Executive Producer
Nick Speed Producer
Richard Reitz Engineer
Mike Hogue Engineer, Vocal Engineer
Nate Hertweck Engineer
Padraic "Padlock" Kerin Engineer
Sha La Shakier Producer
Swiff D Producer
Matt Taylor Art Direction
Brian "Big Bass" Gardner Mastering
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

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(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Turn Up The Volume

    Turn up the volume, and let your eardrums ring. This is Talib's hottest albums yet. Soulful beats, tight rhymes, smooth sounds all around.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    "Rewind that back" music

    Young people "as they always have" look for hip hop for dancing music. That is not what this is. For those who have been listening to rap/hip-hop for 20 or 30 years, you are "like me" looking for witty wordplay. That is EXACTLY what this is. Eardrum has solid production through out, but is "mp3 on the train" listening music, because the more you listen to it, the more you become interested in what he is saying and how Talib is saying it. To use jazz as a metaphoric baseline, the Snap-music/Krunk music today would be the Swing-Jazz-Duke-Ellington-music of today "in that it is made to be danced to and inspire good feelings", while Talib Kweli, Common, Mos Def, De La Soul and KRS are the Miles Davis-type-vibe stuff on today's landscape, where those who study the art of the music appreciate it more than the casual fan. Talib is the best of the "deep" rappers today, and this is one of his best CD's. You will want to rewind the songs you like, and will want to at least hear what he is talking about even if you don't like a given track. This is hip hop that is good for the mind and the soul, but it is for inteligent listeners only.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    is it better then Reflection? what u think?

    I like the CD but sometimes my boy tracks need alittle help. The intro is a beast i love it. The single is hot. Hail (JEAN GREA)finally baby.Kanye came hard on the album. HI-Tek is the key, Pete Rock what up.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews