Universal Mind Control
Label: Common/Kanye West 10% PS
With America in the doldrums, you might expect one of hip-hop's most thoughtful emcees to make a somber album. Instead, Common decides to uplift us by making us move our feet. The Neptunes set the tone with electro sounds that give the Afrika Bambaataa-influenced title track and "Announcement" a futuristic feel. Even when Common gets off the dancefloor to wax poetic on the presidential race on "Changes," the tone is very optimistic. Common's artistic exploration hasn't been well received in the past (Electric Circus, anyone?), but fans will be pleased to break a sweat with UMC.