Josette Compton
December 03, 2008 AT 05:00 AM EST

Universal Mind Control

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Common
genre
Hip-Hop/Rap

We gave it an C

On Common’s eighth effort, the Chicago rapper rhymes and sings — mostly about sexual and lyrical prowess — over marching-band stomps provided by the Neptunes. Though known for his keen insight and smart wordplay, here Common seems to have traded his wit for dull and unimaginative narratives, and the 39-minute album has too much filler and only a few head-nodding jams (like the swaying ”Make My Day,” featuring Cee-Lo’s gut-grunting vocals). Universal Mind Control seems to move Common backward instead of forward, which for a lyricist of his caliber is truly disappointing. C

Download This: Listen to songs from the new album on the rapper’s MySpace

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