Up

( 18 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Although he sticks to his standard two-letter titling practice, Peter Gabriel might well have titled this much-anticipated disc "Around the World in Three Thousand and Eighty Days." Nearly ten years in the making, Up captures moments recorded in -- and accompanied by indigenous musicians of -- Senegal, Singapore, the Amazon rainforest, and the American South. Despite its title, Up is an often fearsome sonic force: The foreboding "Darkness" matches its subject matter the harrowing fear one can find inside one's own psyche with a stark, discordant blanket of tone. Similarly, the surprisingly bitter "The Barry Williams Show" outfits its indictment of modern popular ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Although he sticks to his standard two-letter titling practice, Peter Gabriel might well have titled this much-anticipated disc "Around the World in Three Thousand and Eighty Days." Nearly ten years in the making, Up captures moments recorded in -- and accompanied by indigenous musicians of -- Senegal, Singapore, the Amazon rainforest, and the American South. Despite its title, Up is an often fearsome sonic force: The foreboding "Darkness" matches its subject matter the harrowing fear one can find inside one's own psyche with a stark, discordant blanket of tone. Similarly, the surprisingly bitter "The Barry Williams Show" outfits its indictment of modern popular culture with an acerbic, yet still contagious, melody. Elsewhere, however, Gabriel calls upon his guests to spice the gumbo with distinctive touches that he integrates into his singular recording style. "Signal to Noise" -- which features one of the last recorded performances by the late vocalist Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan -- soars on orchestral wings, while the sunny "Sky Blue" layers a wide variety of pan-ethnic percussion. Unlike lesser artists, or at least those with less patience, Gabriel never tosses such elements in simply for the sake of doing so. On the ragged but resolute "I Grieve," the ambient coloring takes on the sepia tinge of distant memory; the careening "My Head Sounds like That," on the other hand, burns in a hue reminiscent of burnished steel. Up's expansive scope makes it difficult to absorb in one listening, but immersion in its grooves proves it to be one Gabriel's most rewarding discs.
New York Times - Jon Pareles
"Up" may well be the most texture-obsessed album since Nine Inch Nails' "Fragile." It's packed with exquisite moments.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/27/2002
  • Label: Emi Europe Generic
  • UPC: 724381306208
  • Catalog Number: 813062
  • Sales rank: 111,102

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Darkness (6:51)
  2. 2 Growing Up (7:33)
  3. 3 Sky Blue (6:37)
  4. 4 No Way Out (7:53)
  5. 5 I Grieve (7:24)
  6. 6 The Barry Williams Show (7:16)
  7. 7 My Head Sounds Like That (6:29)
  8. 8 More Than This (6:02)
  9. 9 Signal to Noise (7:36)
  10. 10 The Drop (3:01)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Peter Gabriel Primary Artist, Organ, Bass, Harmonica, Piano, Strings, Harmonium, Keyboards, Tom-Tom, Sampling, Mellotron, Track Performer, electronics, Crotale, Synthesizer Drums, Sampled Guitar, Sampled Keyboards, Telecaster, Jam Man
Clarence Fountain Background Vocals
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Vocals
Richard Evans Acoustic Guitar, Recorder
David Sancious Hammond Organ
Peter G. Hanson Violin
Black Dyke Band Brass
Shankar Double Violin
Tony Berg Guitar
Mark Berrow Violin
Tchad Blake scratching
Roger Chase Viola
Tony Cousins Maccaferi Guitar
Mitchell Froom Piano
Steve Gadd Percussion, Drums
Peter Green Guitar
Stephen Hague Percussion
Hossam Ramzy Percussion, Tabla
Manu Katché Drums
Daniel Lanois Guitar, Percussion, Drums, Sampling
Chris Laurence Double Bass
Tony Levin Bass
The London Session Orchestra Strings
Martin Loveday Cello
Anthony Pleeth Cello
David Rhodes Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals
Robert Smissen Viola
Assane Thaim Percussion
Cathy Thompson Violin
Gavyn Wright Violin
Mary Scully Double Bass
Ben Chappell Cello
Peter Lale Viola
Jon Evans-Jones Violin
Patrick Kiernan Violin
Boguslaw Kostecki Violin
Jackie Shave Violin
David Daniels [cello] Cello
Richard Chappell Percussion, Loops
Ged Lynch Percussion, Drums
Dominic Greensmith Drums
Johnny Kalsi Drums, Dholak
Julian Leaper Violin
Donald McVay Viola
Sally Larkin Vocals, Background Vocals
Adrian Chivers Background Vocals
Will White Percussion
Rebecca Hirsch Violin
Christian Lechevretel Trumpet
Antonia Fuchs Violin
Chuck Norman Guitar, Strings
Dominique Mahut Percussion
Dhol Foundation Drums
Five Blind Boys of Alabama Vocals, Background Vocals
Dave Power Drums
Jas Daffu Drums
Indi Chana Drums
Bobby Panesar Drums
Yash Puri Drums
Joey Williams Background Vocals
Melanie Gabriel Vocals, Background Vocals
Christopher Tombling Violin
George Scott Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Peter Gabriel Producer, Contributor, String Arrangements, Concept, Brass Arrangment, Bass Programming, Loop, String Samples
Richard Evans Engineer
David Bottrill Engineer
Tony Cousins Mastering
Pete Davis Programming
Bob Ezrin Brass Arrangment
Stephen Hague Producer
Chris Hughes drum programming
Stephen McLaughlin Engineer
Steve Orchard Engineer
Steve Osborne Programming, Producer, Engineer
Edward Shearmur Brass Arrangment
Ben Findlay Engineer
Will Gregory String Arrangements
Richard Chappell Programming, Engineer, Loop Master
Alex Swift Programming
Chuck Norman Programming
Marc Bessant Graphic Design, Concept
Anne Parsons Personal Assistant
Michael Large Contributor
Nick Ingham Orchestration
Susan Derges Cover Photo, Sleeve Photo
Bobby Panesar Contributor
Yash Puri Contributor
Vjay Rakkar Contributor
Joey Williams Contributor
Derke Zuzarte Engineer
Bob Erzin Brass Arrangment
Jimmy Carter Contributor
George Scott Contributor
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 18 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(11)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    as good as anything he's done

    Peter Gabriel's latest album is subtle, and therefore may take time to tune into, but it's worth it. Incredible textures, meaningful lyrics, and heartfelt singing. Deep sadness is expressed, yet powerful affirmations of life are also here. Appropriate music for the post-9/11 world. And a year later I'm still enjoying this music. The live show was great also-DVD was just released. people of the earth must Grow UP, out of the Darkness, because there's much More Than This world of war and fear...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    shocks, but hang in there!

    I have just bought PG's UP, and it is growing on me in that way all my favourite music does, so when I one day force someone to listen to it they just look confused. The album is highly ecclectic, that is the songs don't really "sound" like each other, and take effects and instruments and voices from a world of sources. There are plaintive horns, solo pianos, sweeping orchestral discord, metallic anger, African beats, choral chants, techno thub and conventional PG rock. Many of these songs sound repellant at first listen, but they are to be listened to and considered. Why has he done this in this song? The tracks Growing Up and I Grieve are the most approachable tracks. I find the way I Grieve builds to its drawn out lament of "I grieve... for you. You leave... me." is brilliant- feelings all can relate to. Growing Up develops well also, with its quiet downgoing cello and building bass thump replaced with a techno riff and groaning guitar lick. This song twists and turns in style and instrumentation; its more like musical texture than a cohesive song! Different. The opening track is shocking as it sets up a wall of brutal, harsh, metallic noise - seems very much to echo its lyrics. That you have to endure this painful and unpleasant noise to uncover the gentle song behind it. And once you've endured it once, it happens again and again. These songs are definitely open to thought and interpretation, not just easy-listening and dancing around. I appreciate that. Other highlights are the musical roundness and sculptured feel of Sky Blue - the way the opening of the song grows and fades away is fantastic, and its chorus of "so tired of all this travelling" is truly heartfelt. That Barry Williams Show does feel weak however. It has none of the potent and personal flavour PG puts into his best music, and feels awfully dated in places. As always however I am reassured by his quieter songs, The Drop and My Head Sounds Like That. They remind me of The Flood and Mercy Street in their emptiness. I'm looking forward to giving this latest album a thorough listening to and thinking about.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    They still make music like this?

    This album is very difficult to delve into, but after you do, you'll never get out. The album itself is very dark, took 10 years to produce, has a weak spot or two, and will take many listens to get all of the details. Still, in my opinion, Up is one of the greatest musical masterpieces I've ever heard. Gabriel has often said that he is not a "progressive" artist, but this album should define what "progressive rock" should truly be... rock that pushes the bounds on what music actually is. It starts on "Darkness," a paranoid song about fear and its effects. Like the way fear itself hits, the song moves from a period of deceptive calm into distorted- guitar hell, with frightening lyrics to complement it. Another song of note is "Signal to Noise," which could possibly be an examination of today's culture... amidst so much noise, one true signal remains, and it must be heard or all generational identity will be lost. "The Barry Williams Show," a biting satire about talk shows, is a light spot amongst the darkness of the album, but it's still a relatively weak song when compared to the rest of them. "The Drop" is one of the most stark (most of his songs have lush instrumentation) and personal tracks Gabriel has written. With a single, mournful piano, Gabriel sings a beautiful song, its lyrics evoking everything from 9/ 11 imagery to questions about the meaning of death in a time of war. "I Grieve" explores death from a perspective of a close relation to the deceased, and moves into a question upon life itself, as it "carries on and on," leaving the subject behind. Many more great songs lie on this album, and a full review of this album could fill up a book, so I'll leave it to you to go and check out this album. A tough nut to crack, yes, but a brilliant, spiritually fulfilling experience lies inside.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great HEADPHONE (only) Album!

    There are longer and detailed and shorter and to the point reviews on this page already. Let me just add that if you want to audition a fine pair of headphones (not buds or portables; spend a hundred bucks or more), THIS is the CD. The sonic textures are amazing, and fastidiously put together. I have yet to audition it on a mega studio-quality stereo, but I suspect the effect will be the same. For years audiophiles have used "Sledgehammer" to audition equipment for it's amazing slamm punctuated by suble tones. This entire collection is superior in that vein to anything PG has put out to date in my head-set. NOW, it's a long warm up; I have listened in bed (alone) headphones on (tri ports, ummm!) every night before sleep and still can't say I have implanted the disc contents in my head. Yet, I am listening by choice (I keep 100 cds w/in easy reach of beddie-bye), and I keep marveling at how addictive this collection really is.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Up is astounding!

    Warning: this is long. , but it's a review I wrote elsewhere... The album "Up" is Peter Gabriel's finest rock album in my opinion. Passion, the soundtrack to the Last Temptation of Christ is probably better, but it is impossible to compare that to a rock album. The test of time remains, but I'm fairly confident the album will hold up well compared to the rest of his catalog. Sonically, Up is a cross between the song "Digging in the Dirt" from the Us album and "The Tower that Ate People" from the Millennium Dome side project (Ovo). On Digging in the Dirt, Gabriel reached a new plateau as far as sonically shaping parts of the song to fit the mood of the lyrics. On The Tower..., Gabriel experimented with industrial rock. Listeners expecting Up to be a continuation of the world music sounds of past albums might be disappointed - this is a straightforward rock album, and the emphasis here is largely on the song writing and Western sounds, save for the percussion on a few tracks. Thematically, Up is largely about the eternal nature of the soul/spirit, and its journey. Strongest tracks: Growing Up, No Way Out/I Grieve, Darkness, More Than This Weakest tracks: the Barry Williams Show (good, weak by comparison to the rest of the album) Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 A track by track synopsis: Darkness: This track should be issued with a warning label - it starts just quietly enough to cause listeners to increase their volume levels and make sure their speakers are plugged in before they are hit with a barrage of industrial noise. Fear not, the track balances out - giving the effect of Nine Inch Nails with proper restraint. On the album Us, Gabriel turned to others to deal with fear ("with this darkness all around me, I like to be liked" - Love to Be Loved), but here he confronts his fears head on, finding they don't have control over him, rather they are curled up on the floor like a baby boy. With this track he seems to also be putting aside the relationship issues he confronted with the Us album - not that they are solved, but at least they are in their proper perspective - and sets forth on the rest of the album to deal with himself. Growing Up: For me, the most accessible track on the album. The funk is thick here, and it should be awesome live; I had the good fortune of attending the press party on the album's release date in New York, and the band truly rocked on this one. The idea of reincarnation is present, as the narrator begins the story in his mother's womb "once again", waiting to start the next leg of his journey. Some familiar territory is covered - the idea expressed on "Humdrum" many hears earlier ("out of woman come the man, spend the rest of his life getting back when he can") is discussed with full verses, but that's only a distraction from the main idea - the journey the narrator is on. There's some mystic stuff about dots (one dot = on or off, life or not; two dots = the beginning of life, the first recognition a baby makes of it's mother's eyes; three dots = 3 dimensions of space, the way to map the universe; 4 dots = 3 dimensions plus time, the foundation of it all. As stated on the page in the detailed drawing, there is a plan, and the narrator is compelled to follow it, not knowing where it takes him. At the end of the track there's an admission that this phase of the journey will end before he's ready for it too, but he has no choice in the matter. Sky Blue: this song hits on two levels. It could easily be the words of a businessman, weary from his travels, yearning to be home again. On a larger level, however, it's back to the theme of the soul on its journey. It must keep moving, never resting, always trying "to be stable", like an electron seeking it's place in an atom's orbit. The song builds and builds, as the journey continues, with talk about needing to release a cry if only a moment's rest could be found. As the song climaxes, one expects the cry to be a familiar Gabriel wail

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Dark, complex, heavy and... brilliant

    Peter Gabriel is finally back with "Up", his darkest record to date. All those "So"-era fans will be disappointed, as there are no Top 10 hits on "Up" (though "Growing Up", "The Barry Williams Show" and "More Than This" do have commercial potential). There are some instant classics, however. In fact, not a single weak track is present on this album. From the disquietingly brilliant opener "Darkness" to the tender minimalist coda "The Drop", the music is simply outstanding. Layers on layers on layers of instrumentation. Highlights include Gabrielese gospel "Sky Blue", haunting and cathartic "I Grieve", darkest album's darkest track "My Head Sounds Like That" and Gabriel's greatest epic "Signal To Noise". The cover art is great, too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    AMAZING!!!!!!!!

    This is simply an amazing album. The one thing I have always liked about Gabriel's work is that every song is perfectly suited to his voice, and this is no exception. "The Barry Williams Show" has to be the funniest song he has ever recorded. This is really unique compared to his other work. The writing seems to be more personal, the music is more layered, and it really sounds like a labor of love for Peter if you ask me. This will probably be a must-see concert...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Peter Gabriel: Up and About Up

    I didn't like "Up" much when I first heard it, but it has grown on me and I hear a lot of things that take me back 20 years to the "Security" album. Wow! Album! "More Than This", track 8 (not a Roxy Music cover) is far and away my favorite. Spirited and I wish there was another song like it. I think "Darkness" the lead-off song, harkens back to Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir." It's hardcore PG. If you know someone who's gay and ashamed, have them listen to it (no, I'm not gay). "My Head Sounds Like That" (track 7)...my gosh it's depressing, but it's got a unique arrangement, feels like something John Lennon should have sang. Vintage depressing PG for those of you who know what I mean. "No Way Out", track 4 is good, an acquired taste. 3 songs left me disappointed..."The Barry Williams Show" (it's a little late off the gun and offers up a silly, forced lyric or two), "Signal to Noise" (I like dark PG, but I had my fill of depression by this point)...and "The Drop" (I rarely listen to it) I am looking forward to seeing him in Philly Monday night though.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    10 years, 10 songs

    Up is an album that should be playing throughout all the important events in your life (marriage, birth of a child etc.) Gabriel's voice has rarely sounded better, through the cinemascopic grandeur of 'signal to noise', to the gentle lilt of 'the drop'. worldly without being pretentious and personal without gushing, this is worth the wait more than you can believe. in times when the album charts are dominated by sub-standard northern indie dross or tv show spawnings this is one ray of ethereal light. deeply, deeply good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Up

    This is so unoriginal it's sad. The album cover was lifted from a book cover. The title isn't even original (see R.E.M.). The songs are interminable! They are dark and depressing and no fun at all. There are even a few re-hashings of old stuff here, like Sky Blue and Signal-To-Noise (which is by far the best tune on the album). I have every PG album. Loved PG3 and Security. It was nice to see him finally hit the Big Time in 1986, but since then he has released some fairly mediocre stuff. This album actually sounds like a bad Peter Gabriel parody. The Barry Williams Show is just plain ridiculous. Putting down reality TV and those who watch it went out with the 90's. The fact that Jerry Springer is bad TV is hardly something to write about. Haven't seen the video, but I haven't heard anything good about it either. The fact that neither the album or the single has even entered the Billboard Top 100 reveals just how far Gabriel has fallen from grace. Not to say that the charts determine how good an album is, by any means. And then there's the Growing Up Tour. Fans at his web site can get a password and pay $130 to get seats, but not in the first two rows. This is only $20 less than The Who. Far more than other much bigger stars are charging. His shows won't sell out, but I don't think he cares. Just take the money and run. Gabriel has always put on elaborate, spectacular shows. It's been ten years since his last show, but he looks 25 years older. I can't help but feel he'd look pretty silly trying to do the dances he did during the Secret World Tour. Especially "Steam" which looked pretty silly even back then. The fans are saying you have to listen to this album over and over to appreciate it. This is true for all great music. This is not great music. After ten long years of waiting, his fans are in denial. This album is really a joke, I think. It's a bad joke on his fans. Nothing Up at all. He also calls his fans "lunatics". It's supposed to be some reference to the Full Moon Club fan club, but I think it's actually an inside joke. I can picture him in an aside to Tony Levin: "These lunatics will pay anything to hear my music."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    It only takes 1 spin...

    I have to disagree with Mr. Erlewine's critique of this album. Any album by Mr. Gabriel should never be compared to any other of his making. Each is carefully crafted and unique. "Up" is instantly accessable and immediately enjoyable. The need to listen to it repeatedly stems from a hunger to relive one's first listening experience over and over. Surely new things will be found each time "Up" is played but one need not worry about warming up to this record. Every song is great. Every song is signature Peter Gabriel. It's fresh, it's engaging, it's spectacular.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Uncompromising

    This is such an eclectic travelogue of sounds and themes that I feel like I've gotten a Cliff's Notes of Peter Gabriel from the past 10 years. "Up" is densely layered; musical themes sometimes cohabitate peacefully, and at others crash in transition. The result haunts you...some passages will enter your mind unexpectedly and stay there a while, especially from "I Grieve" and "Sky Blue," my favorites. "The Barry Williams Show" is simple MTV fun, and, while a rare light moment, certainly doesn't weaken the album. The final cut, "The Drop," though, does. PG strains like Neil Young over a simple piano accompaniment, and the song closes the album on a weak note. Clearly, this is his richest, most complicated, album to date. Fans like me would have it no other way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Its Great to Hear That Voice Again!

    Its been a long wait, but Peter was anything but gone. I bought OVO back in 2000 and thought that it was amazing, though not enough of PG raspy, earthy vocals. Then Rabbit Proof Fence this year, that surely made my expectations for up pretty high, it was absolutely brilliant atmospheric music. And now we have UP!! I can't get enough of this album. It has traces of his past work, including some early Genesis. Not to say that this is a rehash, far from it, the material sounds fresh and original with a sound all its own. Some say it takes a few listens to grow on you, it doesn't, it was on me within one listen and hasn't been off since. If you are into cheesy pop or bands that want to be meaningful and grandiose like Creed, do not look here. If you want So or Us, well, go listen to So or Us, this is a separate work, and quite simply some of the best material Gabriel has produced.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    pure genius

    I just bought this album yesterday. After I had read most of the online reviews, I was a bit sceptical but I bought it anyway being a huge PG fan. I absolutely love this album. I find the melodies accompanied by a world beat, African style rythm to be very moving.Tracks such as "More Than This" and "No Way Out" deliver a subtle, yet powerful grove that is sure to get the listener hooked from the beginning. Listening to Up through a good quality set of headphones is another experience of it's own. Up was brilliantly recorded and it is very apparent that everyone in the production process took time to deliver a true masterpiece. This album is truly a spark of genius in today's shallow, "bubble-gum" pop music industry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    GREAT stuff.

    This is a GREAT disc, just what I'd expect from an artist who is true to his muse. If you are a PG fan, you'll find that this is as good as anything he's done. If you're not, be prepared for some dark moods, but also some seriously spectacular music. I'd agree that "Barry Williams Show" doesn't seem to fit here, but I'll forgive that one mis-step for the rest of the strengths of the CD. BUY IT!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Finally, a new release...and hopefully a new tour!

    It turns out this album was worth the ten year wait. There is not a single song on this album I don't like, however there are songs that I favor more than others. If you're looking for something upbeat and spirit-lifting this is not the cd for you. But if you enjoy the ominous, incredible musical composition of Peter Gabriel, you will not be disappointed. I think the first song "Darkness" (which is my favorite on the cd) would have made the best title for this album, because the lyrics and music are very dark and deep and express Gabriel's true feelings about life. This album does not contain the best lyricism that I've heard from Gabriel, but I think the musical composition ranks it among the best. There is a mixture of pop, alternative, metal, and easy listening not just on the whole album, but sometimes just in one song. By far the best album since 'So'.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Up

    In fact, it without a doubt his worst. Like "OVO" and "Long Walk Home", this album is a complete waste of time. His first LP was advertised as "expect the unexpected". If you're expecting anything great from this guy any more, you'll be sadly disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Superb

    Several first-class songs on this one!

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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews