Universal Mind Control

Studio Album by released in 2008
Universal Mind Control's tracklist:
Universal Mind Control (UMC)
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Punch Drunk Love (feat. Kanye West)
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Make My Day (feat. Cee-Lo)
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Sex 4 Suga
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Announcement (feat. Pharrell)
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Gladiator
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Changes (feat. Muhsinah)
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Inhale
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What a World
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Everywhere (feat. Martina Topley-Bird)
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Universal Mind Control review

Common records a more mainstream album

Everyone knows that the modern rap culture offers a multitude of variations on basically the same themes: self-confidence, women, money and street life with all its accompaniments. Yet there are some rappers among all who pays more attention to more interesting things like introspection, ecology, politics, social problems and the relationships between people. Sometimes an artist all of a sudden releases a deeply thought album after a whole sequence of surface creations or on the contrary somebody who has earned a reputation of one different from the others records a more mainstream album. It is probably the latter case that Common’s new work Universal Mind Control, eighth all in all, can be referred. If before this original performer combined the elements of classic hip-hop with jazz and soul in his creations then his new work offers rather danceable compositions with less serious but no less interesting lyrics. The album’s release has been postponed several times, and finally in December the new songs are ready to see the light of the day.

Joyful and easy-going music on Universal Mind Control

The greatest part of Common’s albums was produced by Kanye West thanks to whom MC’s worrisome songs obtained a more harmonious sounding. This time, however, the rapper has said that some joyful and easy-going music has been missing in his discography, so Pharrell Williams, a true connoisseur of musical entertainment, joins West among others on Universal Mind Control. The album opens with a great title track Intro/Universal Mind Control (UMC) featuring Pharrell. It is the first single and a promising start of the album on which first a female voice suggests that we listen to Common’s new album and then a quality beat enters the game. A song performed with Kanye West Punch Drunk Love pleases with an excellent arrangement and a memorable tune while Make My Day featuring Cee-Lo Green conquers with a joyful sample with the sounds of bells. Another Pharrell collaboration Announcement is a bit more monumental piece with a stunning powerful beat and the elements of orchestra sounding. The heaviest chorus on the record is on Gladiator filled with impressive synthesizers whereas Changes featuring Muhsinah is a great example of classic hip-hop refined with a child’s voice and proving to be the closest to Common’s previous works. A danceable composition What A World performed with Chester French pleases with simple beat and melody and a bright and more up-tempo finale Everywhere will also leave nobody indifferent.

Common still plays the main role

The probability of whether Common’s fans are going to approve of his decision to record an album together with Pharrell Williams can be estimated only after listening to what their joined efforts have resulted in. As a matter of fact for that purpose it is enough to turn on several songs at random and everything will be crystal clear. Despite the fact that the record Universal Mind Control consists of ten tracks only they are quite enough to persuade us of how many faceted Common’s talent is. Now there is no doubt that he can handle well both reflective songs and light non-committal club tracks. The participation of other artists in the work have definitely refined a significant part of the album especially satisfying being the job Kanye West has done. Of course the producers’ contribution cannot be underestimated but Common still plays the main role on Universal Mind Control and we can only admire how easily he has coped with the challenge he has made to himself. Now he will be most probably convinced that if he wanted he could record a lot more of suchlike albums and although we do not know which direction the rapper is about to take next we can be sure he will not disappoint us in any case.