The Ecstatic

( 4 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andy Kellman
During the first several years of the 2000s, it wasn't unreasonable to want Mos Def, one of the most dazzling living MCs, to make a rap album. After he released 2006's True Magic, his first all-rap release in seven years -- following the back-to-back instant classics Black Star and Black on Both Sides -- it was easier to understand why he had been devoting much more time to acting and diversions like The New Danger. It was evident that he was not inspired, no doubt prompting a fair portion of his followers to think, "OK, maybe we should have been more specific: please make a good rap album." On The Ecstatic, it's not as if Mos Def makes a full return to the lucid/bug-eyed ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andy Kellman
During the first several years of the 2000s, it wasn't unreasonable to want Mos Def, one of the most dazzling living MCs, to make a rap album. After he released 2006's True Magic, his first all-rap release in seven years -- following the back-to-back instant classics Black Star and Black on Both Sides -- it was easier to understand why he had been devoting much more time to acting and diversions like The New Danger. It was evident that he was not inspired, no doubt prompting a fair portion of his followers to think, "OK, maybe we should have been more specific: please make a good rap album." On The Ecstatic, it's not as if Mos Def makes a full return to the lucid/bug-eyed rhymes heard on decade-old cuts like "Hater Players" and "Hip Hop." Instead, he comes up with a mind-bending, low-key triumph, the kind of magnetic album that takes around a dozen spins to completely unpack. Oscillating between cerebral gibberish and seemingly nonchalant, off-the-cuff boasts, it's obvious that Mos Def is back to enjoying his trade. For those who are deeply into the Stones Throw label, the album won't take quite as long to process. Some of the productions from brothers Madlib and Oh No were pulled from their instrumental releases, including a pair from the India-themed installments of the Beat Konducta series. Altogether, they provide much of the album's dusty off-centeredness; even though "Supermagic" has Mos Def at his most energized and alert, its needling psychedelic guitars and sweeping Bollywood drama are transportive. Combined with backdrops from Georgia Anne Muldrow, Preservation, the Neptunes' Chad Hugo, and the Ed Banger label's Mr. Flash, the album is a gumbo that adds juicy dub thwacks, regal synthetic horns, tangled piano vamps, dashes of spiritual jazz, and rolling Afro-beat, almost all of which is cloaked in light reverb. Though there are highlights throughout, two of the most notable tracks are at the very end: "History," where Talib Kweli joins in over a wistful J Dilla beat, and "Casa Bey," where a playful Mos Def somehow keeps up with Banda Black Rio's deliriously frantic samba funk.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/9/2009
  • Label: Downtown
  • UPC: 878037005523
  • Catalog Number: 70055
  • Sales rank: 32,740

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Supermagic (2:32)
  2. 2 Twilite Speedball (3:02)
  3. 3 Auditorium - The Ruler (4:34)
  4. 4 Wahid (1:39)
  5. 5 Priority (1:22)
  6. 6 Quiet Dog Bite Hard (2:57)
  7. 7 Life in Marvelous Times (3:41)
  8. 8 The Embassy (2:45)
  9. 9 No Hay Nada Mas (1:42)
  10. 10 Pistola (3:02)
  11. 11 Pretty Dancer (3:31)
  12. 12 Workers Comp (2:02)
  13. 13 Revelations (2:03)
  14. 14 Roses (3:41)
  15. 15 History - Talib Kweli (2:21)
  16. 16 Casa Bey - MEAD (4:32)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Mos Def Primary Artist
Technical Credits
Justin Dante Tivell Executive Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Just "OK"

    This is not the Mos Def I fell in love with. I have listened to the CD approximately 5 times and I can't tell you that any one song sticks out in terms of lyrics or music....none of the songs are memorable to me.

    It's not a bad CD, it is certainly listenable. It's just not the Mighty Mos of yesteryear. Quite frankly, I liked the last release more (the one with no liner notes).

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Return To Form

    Finally a much more focused album from the Ecstatic himself. The unfortunate misinterpretation of True Magic lead Mos into a place where incoherent albums end up in a grave yard. Most artists would have given up the ghost and not have bothered to came back from the dead after such a slump. Not MD! This time he has reclaimed the formula that made his 1999 album, Black On Both Sides a huge success. It's a nice refreshing return, with a sound that's finalized in Mos Def's true essence.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews