Published on January 13th, 2012 | by Boman12l0
Review: The Dreamer/The Believer – Common
Common is back in top form. Together with frequent collaborator, No I.D, the two have crafted an album that will take listeners well into 2012.
Common’s The Dreamer/The Believer hits all the high points one would expect from a Common album post Electric Circus (not including Universal Mind Control). Solid concepts and themes, few guest spots, production from one producer, even Pops is back to close out the album keeping with Common tradition. Not only is The Dreamer/The Believer a must listen for hip-hop fans; it marks another resurrection for Common.
Common and No I.D. cover plenty of ground with these twelve tracks. “Ghetto Dreams” featuring Nas, still leaves a lasting impression months later with its hard hitting lyrics, pounding drums, and razor sharp scratches, the track is sure to remind many why they fell in love with hip-hop. The bass line on “Lovin’ I lost” makes it one of the smoothest tracks on the entire album. No I.D’s production is diverse; the album is balanced perfectly with the right amount of lows and highs. Each song has a distinctive sound and feel.
Interesting to note, the titles of each track consist of one or two words that embody the subject matter or contrast with the lyrical content. This is not a bad thing. “Sweet” has some of the hardest hitting drums of the entire album. Common himself is in battle mode the entire track, staking his claim among the hip-hop elite.
“How can I say this, fuck it I’m the greatest
I am the A-list for all these great debaters
A lot of ya’ll nah nah, forgot now who I am
The ’87 nigga used to rah rah in the jam”
“Raw (How You like It)” consist of drums and guitar, creating a funky jam with a hint of reggae. The song is a simple beat that bangs hard. The warm gentle keys and bass line accent the title “Cloth” perfectly as Common, not only uses the title as a bridge between verses but also as the central theme that people are more than what they wear.
The album as a whole could be described as a celebration of life. Not WTT level, but more celebration of life, love and dreams. Lyrically, Common is still one of the best. Lines are filled with well constructed puns and entendres that will keep listeners engaged throughout the album. “Gold” is a track filled with movie and T.V. references. “Blue Sky” has just as many. “Ghetto Dreams” has both Common and Nas expressing what their dream women would be like. “Windows” is a journey through fatherhood. This is a very strong album by Common. It is uplifting in surprising ways and has some of the best production you will hear all year. This is what the follow up to Finding Forever should have been.
The Dreamer/The Believer will go into heavy rotation for many listeners. Common and No ID prove that their chemistry is still just as strong after all these years. Common has found a way to inspire other with his lyrics and music and will continue to do so well into 2012 and years to come.