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


Newsletter


Editor's Letter

The 46th (And Last) Playlist Of 2014


Sorry I didn't manage to post a playlist last week; a combination of germs, deadlines and various other professional/seasonal distractions meant that I ran out of time.

Here, though, is our last office list of 2014, with lots of strong new entries. A few highlights...