Album review

Common - Electric Circus

The Sgt Pepper-style cover suggests a counterpart to OutKast's Stankonia, but Common's emphasis is more on social and historical awareness. Tracks like "Aquarius" and "Star'69 (PS With Love)" recall the utopian psychedelic soul of Rotary Connection—though the lyrics are firmly rooted in reality—but the fabric stretches from the wonderfully seductive "Come Close" duet with Mary J Blige to the brilliantly askew deployment of Stereolab in "New Wave". "Jimi Was A Rock Star", featuring Erykah Badu, is a fabulous freeform mantra and one of the best Hendrix tributes extant.

To be filed alongside the Roots' recent Phrenology.

Rating: 4 / 10


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Editor's Letter

The 3rd Uncut Playlist Of 2015


Still at that stage of the year where I nearly type 2014 every time instead of 2015, but time moves on - swifter, perhaps, than Bjork for one would've liked this week, given how an unauthorised leak forced the release of "Vulnicura" a couple of months ahead of schedule.

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