Electric Circus [Explicit Lyrics]

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Tracy E. Hopkins
Prior to the release of this eclectic Electric Circus, Common debuted the material live, in frenetic performances accompanied by his badass band A Black Girl Named Becky, his "queen" Erykah Badu, and Prince-ly neo-soulster Bilal. The shows were strong -- maybe too strong. Could the album live up to the hype? The answer is a captivating yes. Expanding on 2000's Like Water for Chocolate, the artist formerly known as Common Sense draws deep from the well of cosmic rock and soul pioneers such as Prince -- who plays guitar and keyboards on the "Erotic City"–esque "Star 69 PS with Love" -- and Jimi Hendrix, to whom a crooning Common and Badu pay homage on the electric ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Tracy E. Hopkins
Prior to the release of this eclectic Electric Circus, Common debuted the material live, in frenetic performances accompanied by his badass band A Black Girl Named Becky, his "queen" Erykah Badu, and Prince-ly neo-soulster Bilal. The shows were strong -- maybe too strong. Could the album live up to the hype? The answer is a captivating yes. Expanding on 2000's Like Water for Chocolate, the artist formerly known as Common Sense draws deep from the well of cosmic rock and soul pioneers such as Prince -- who plays guitar and keyboards on the "Erotic City"–esque "Star 69 PS with Love" -- and Jimi Hendrix, to whom a crooning Common and Badu pay homage on the electric guitar–laden "Jimi Was a Rock Star." Although the unsinkable Neptunes contribute two tracks, including "Come Close," featuring Mary J. Blige and reminiscent of A Tribe Called Quest, the disc is anchored by the jam session–inspired production of Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson from the Roots. As ringmaster, Thompson keeps this music event under control even under the crush of a multitude of guest stars, as Common recruits a posse of like-minded hip-hop-and-soul bohemians including Cee-Lo the mantra-like "Between Me, You, & Liberation, Jill Scott the big band swing "I Am Music", and Brit hipster Omar the ensemble jam "Heaven Somewhere" to join his Circus. Amid all the spectacle, though, it's Common, as poetic as ever, and so in love, who commands attention. So light up the Nag Champa, open your third eye, and let this visionary MC entertain you.
All Music Guide - Sam Samuelson
Firmly out of the underground by the time Electric Circus came out in late 2002, Common takes the vision to the next level, employing high-profile producers ?uestlove, Dilla Jay Dee, and the Neptunes. It's no surprise that the ?uestlove tracks push the most unclaimed territory. The Roots' Phrenology record, which appeared concurrent with Electric Circus, also flips the script on preconceived notions of beats and rhymes. Frequently the new sound on both records is pushed into a strange, sometimes aggressive, blunted rock/soul hybrid that still pulls the line for able-bodied MCs. Then there's also the Neptunes' tracks here, which are perfectly suited for MTV and urban radio. The Mary J. Blige duet, "Come Close," is a slow-paced dialogue between Common and Blige that borders on typical, but will still find a great number of fans. "Electric Wire Hustler Flower" is the true centerpiece of the record, though -- another ?uestlove jam, the song is tough but sensitive enough to maintain the layers of rhythm, rhyme, and abstraction. Electric Circus does suffer from that which ails many contemporary hip-hop albums -- too many guests including a strange appearance by Laetitia Sadier [Stereolab] and a generally lengthy program drag this one down a tad. Nonetheless, Electric Circus is a brave and ruthless statement wrapped in sincerity.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/10/2002
  • Label: Mca
  • UPC: 008811311421
  • Catalog Number: 113114
  • Sales rank: 58,369

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Ferris Wheel (2:48)
  2. 2 Soul Power (4:38)
  3. 3 Aquarius - Bilal (4:54)
  4. 4 Electric Wire Hustler Flower - Sonny (5:54)
  5. 5 The Hustle - Dart Chillz (4:20)
  6. 6 Come Close (4:35)
  7. 7 New Wave (5:08)
  8. 8 Star *69 (PS With Love) - Bilal (5:30)
  9. 9 I Got a Right Ta - Pharrell Williams (4:54)
  10. 10 Between Me, You and Liberation (6:23)
  11. 11 I Am Music - Jill Scott (5:21)
  12. 12 Jimi Was a Rock Star (8:32)
  13. 13 Heaven Somewhere - Lonnie Lynn (10:24)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Common Primary Artist
Prince Guitar, Keyboards
Bobbi Humphrey Flute
Mary J. Blige Background Vocals
Jef Lee Johnson Guitar
Pino Palladino Bass
Nicholas Payton Trumpet
James Poyser Guitar, Piano, Keyboards, Hand Clapping
Greg Tardy Cornet
Cee Lo Green Vocals
?uestlove Drums, Hand Clapping
Tye Tribbett & G.A. Background Vocals
Pharrell Williams Background Vocals
Damen Bennett Flute
Bilal Background Vocals
Tye Tribbett Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Jeff Chestek Engineer
Timothy Day Engineer
Larry Gold String Arrangements
Jef Lee Johnson Producer
Pino Palladino Producer
James Poyser Producer, Associate Executive Producer
Steve Russell Vocal Engineer
Chris Steinmetz Engineer
Femi Jiya Engineer
Tim Day Engineer
Anthony Bell Engineer
Tom Coyne Mastering
Todd Fairall Engineer
Josh Butler Vocal Engineer
Scott Kieklak Vocal Engineer
Common Executive Producer
Karriem Riggins Producer
?uestlove Producer, Executive Producer
Blair Wells Digital Editing
Steve Mandel Engineer
Mike Tocci Engineer
Andrew Coleman Engineer
Ryan Moys Engineer
Derek Dudley Executive Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    My third eye opened and it won't close

    I've been a follower of common since his second album and he just won't let me go, his fusion with politics, love, hate, and understanding undoubtedly call to all who can listen. Have patience because this album speaks to you the way de la soul did, like when you hear a tribe called quest through your speakers cruising in the summer road, it makes sense. ?uestlove truly blesses this album with a couple visions that he's being dieing to unleash but could never find the right voice for his thoughts, enter common. Fusion with prince/hendrix rock with a little jazz from the avenues of dixieland laid over with light of hip-hop/soul that this album will truly open your third eye. Pick it up and it will pick YOU up

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    ELECTRIC CIRCUS IS IN TOWN

    HOT ALBUM. A MIXTURE OF JAZZ ROCK SOUL PUT IN A BLENDER WITH HIP HOP BEATS.COMMON ONCE AGAIN MAKES SENSE!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews