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Universal Mind Control
     

Universal Mind Control

4.7 3
by Common
 

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The eighth Common album was originally titled "Invincible Summer," but delays slid its release back to December. Though Mortal Winter might've been more apt, Universal Mind Control does correctly point toward a lighter, less cerebral set relative to the MC's discography from The Resurrection

Overview

The eighth Common album was originally titled "Invincible Summer," but delays slid its release back to December. Though Mortal Winter might've been more apt, Universal Mind Control does correctly point toward a lighter, less cerebral set relative to the MC's discography from The Resurrection onward. The glinting "Change" is a track filled with hope and optimism about younger generations and the rise of Obama, and "Inhale," another standout, carries a surplus of uplift and urgency. Otherwise, Common's here to have a good time, no strings attached, with uneven results. Occasionally adopting a casual old-school flow, best heard on the neo-Bambaataa electro throwback title track, he spends most of his time boasting about his prowess, whether he's referring to being on the mike or in the bedroom. At the album's lowest, he sounds uncomfortably out of character, as on "Announcement"; its stern beat, one of the seven provided by the Neptunes, resembles a Clipse cast-off, pushing Common into ill-suited thuggishness. The sluggish, mindless "Punch Drunk Love" ("My ungh is in your body/My ungh is in your mind") and "Sex 4 Suga" ("Girl, ooh, you look ungh") are nearly as dire, likewise sacrificing cleverness for bluntness. The album's last two tracks, production-wise, depart from hip-hop and will hopefully send some listeners back to the flawed greatness of Electric Circus. "What a World" features some of Common's most enjoyable, if simplistic, old-school rhymes, but the song is impaired by its dance-rock/Rapture-knockoff backdrop; and even with some of Common's most energized lines appearing as late as midway through the much more effective "Everywhere," the Dungeon Family's Mr. DJ (who produced two other tracks) drops some low-slung sci-fi synth-funk for Martina Topley-Bird's spaced vocal feature.

Editorial Reviews

Rolling Stone - Will Hermes
Rap's deep thinker wanted to make club bangers. So he got the Neptunes to shape this sexed-up set.

Product Details

Release Date:
12/09/2008
Label:
Geffen Records
UPC:
0602517836914
catalogNumber:
001198602

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Common   Primary Artist
Martina Topley-Bird   Vocals
Kanye West   Vocals
Marvin "Chanz" Parkman   Keyboards
Jeff B.   Keyboards
Jeff Bowden   Keyboards
Maxwell Drummey   Guitar
D.A. Wallach   Vocals
Joelle Ndiaye   Spoken Word
D.a. Wallach   Vocals

Technical Credits

Tim Reid   Marketing
Common   Executive Producer
Pharrell Williams   Composer,Executive Producer
DJ   Audio Production
Martina Topley-Bird   Composer
Neptunes   Producer,Executive Producer,Audio Production
Kanye West   Executive Producer
Chad Hugo   Composer
Leila   Composer
Andrew Coleman   Engineer
Derek Dudley   Executive Producer
Ianthe Zevos   Creative Art
David Sheats   Composer
Jeff Bowden   Composer
Joelle Ndiaye   Introduction
Graham Marsh   Engineer
L. Rashid Lynn   Composer
Jason Boyd   Composer
Carlos Green   Composer
Dukes of Daville   Composer

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Universal Mind Control 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
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