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Finding Forever

Common

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iTunes Editors' Notes

After a detour into rock-heavy experimentation on 2002’s Electric Circus, Common hooked up with producer-of-the-moment Kanye West for 2005’s Be, a commercial and critical resurgence. West again handles most of the production duties on this follow-up, which may be (slightly) less polished and fluid, but ultimately more ambitious, earthy, and rewarding. The spirit of the late producer J Dilla is reflected in the sonic inventiveness and often solemn mood. Using samples ranging from Ethiopian jazz (“The Game”) to Paul Simon (“Forever Begins”) to “Windmills of Your Mind” (“Start the Show”) to Gil Scott-Heron (“The People”) to Stevie Wonder and Syreeta (“U, Black Maybe”), West provides a wide range of suitably impressive settings — hard-hitting and serious, dreamy and reflective, quirky and playful, soulful and seductive — for Common’s sly, supple, thoughtful flow. Dilla himself produced the track for the silky-smooth, R&B-flavored “So Far to Go,” which features vocals from long-lost but much-beloved D’Angelo. Will.i.am from Black Eyed Peas takes over the production reins (and chorus vocals) for the tired “I Want You,” doing Common no favors in the process and reminding us how far the Peas have fallen. Things are much more impressive with producer Devo Springsteen at the helm, who contributes “Misunderstood,” a stunning track built around a plaintive Nina Simone sample and finding Common at his most introspective.

Customer Reviews

Outstanding!

I loved the last album "be". I think this album has some stronger tracks the whole way through. Hearing "start the show" transition into "the people" one two punch to start the album honestly is the best I've heard in rap or hip-hop in quite a while. I think "u, black maybe" is tight too. Like the whole feel of this album, can't lose buying it, not song by song though, buy the whole thing!

Hottttt

Common does it again... he consistantly brings new life to a stagnant hip-hop scene... every song is fantastic, with unique rhymes and unlike other hip-hop artists he does not abuse the use of cameos... excellent production from Kanye and Will.i.am, pick this one up because it's Common's best so far!

Finding Forever

It's amazing how Common can do so well. This album is jazz and soul and faith and hope and street and rap and heavy hip-hop all in one... there's a huge element of jazz and soul to it, all overlaid by Common's steady rapping... simply the best album for a long time. He reflects on the world and its issues- war, politics- and reflects on his own issues too and issues of other individuals- love, racism, heartbreak. All the while he uses real situations and talks about real people, who are worked flawlessly into his songs. He takes these stories from deep down and tells them to the world. It took me by surprise and took me over. I even like the album art (okay, okay, I admit it)! This deserves seven stars. I'm looking forward to more from Common! He's earned all the respect from me that I have. macF

Biography

Born: March 13, 1972 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Common (originally Common Sense) was a highly influential figure in rap's underground during the '90s, keeping the sophisticated lyrical technique and flowing syncopations of jazz-rap alive in an era when commercial gangsta rap was threatening to obliterate everything in its path. His outward looking, nimbly performed rhymes and political consciousness certainly didn't fit the fashions of the moment, but he was able to win a devoted cult audience. By the late '90s, a substantial underground movement...
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