Common – Let Love

Common is back with his 12th studio album and, after 25-years, most fans will have a good idea what to expect from the Chicago MC.

This album is slated as the musical version of his New York Times best-selling book, ‘Let Love Have The Last Word.’

The album opener, ‘Good Morning Love’ provides a good indication of what to expect as Samora Pinderhughes is called to provide some soulful additions to Common’s positive reminiscences, all over a jazz-inflected backing:

Next comes ‘HER Love,’ the latest installment of Common’s ode to hip-hop (if you didn’t know, hip-hop is imagined as a female), updated with some of the latest names in hip-hop music and a spiraling J. Dilla beat:

The whole album is packed with guests, with Common only appearing on one track by himself.

However, despite the changing faces, the Chicago veteran manages to maintain a feel that is very much his own throughout.

While this album tends towards laid-back, jazz-tinted styles, there are some more boom-bap-leaning moments, like ‘Hercules:’

However, for those moments, there are plenty here that begin to drift.

There is no doubting Common is a superb MC, with great cadence, flow, and wordplay, yet somehow the tracks on this album start to seem to blend together.

Maybe it’s the meandering production on tracks like ‘Forever Your Love,’ or perhaps it’s down to the topics, as Common delivers one reminiscence after another?

Either way, this album, while decent, just seems to lack a little something to take it to the next level.

There are some very beautiful moments, such as ‘Memories of Home,’ which sees Samora Pinderhughes return alongside BJ The Chicago Kid:

But, maybe, these tracks are best enjoyed in isolation (mixtape DJs take note) rather than as a cluster, where they seem to float into one-another like waves falling back from a lazy seashore.

Probably not Common’s best album, ‘Let Love‘ is still a decent release with some real strong points that his fans should settle into over a few plays.

Thinking man’s hip-hop lounge music…

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Common – Let Love

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