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Common Previews "Universal Mind Control" for DJBooth.net

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To control the minds of your listeners, you need not only superb lyrical abilities, but a musical backdrop that can take the listeners to a realm of symphonic bliss.

Common

is back with his 8th studio recording, entitled

Universal Mind Control

, a relatively short but adventurous and nostalgic journey through the many metamorphoses that brought hip hop from its origins to what it is today.

DJBooth was invited to preview the 10-track recording, and the experience was nothing short of a trip to a hip-hop version of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Over production by the

Neptunes

, with three tracks coming from

Mr. DJ

of

Dungeon Ratz Productions

, Common channels flows reminiscent of

Afrika Bambaataa

, but goes a bit light on his usual socially-conscious subject matter.

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Universal Mind Control

’s eponymous

first single

finds Common playing with flows and venturing from his time-tested rhyme style. The album diverges considerably from his last two studio efforts, the

Kanye

-produced

Be

, and most recently

Finding Forever

. Radio-friendliness may have not been the intention for this album, but the up-tempo synths and thumping bass tracks may make it Common’s highest-charting release to date.

Fans of Common’s

Resurrection

days shouldn’t be completely disappointed though; Common still has the skills to silence the skeptics, and he proves it on tracks like “The Announcement”, “Gladiator”, and “Inhale.” There is a lot of rock influence on this disc, and tracks like “What a World” and “Everywhere” have a

Gnarls Barkley

-esque feel. Lonnie Lynn, however, is no biter; by pulling together a beautiful collage of hip hop that pays homage to the genre's origins, Common shows his ability to create truly universal music.

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