Ear Drum


Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. 70
    Kweli’s rigid delivery and obsession with self-empowerment remain liabilities.
  2. At 20 tracks and nearly 80 minutes, Eardrum is both too much and too little, never quite understanding exactly what it needs to be.
  3. He's made a nice to return to form, crafting a mature album that nods to his past without being a retread.
  4. Kweli's curse- 'n' cliché-free rhyme-ripping proves he needs no help on the microphone. He outshines his celebrated guests, including labelmate Grae, KRS-One, Norah Jones (!), Sonia Sanchez, UGK's Pimp C and Bun B, Musiq Soulchild and Raheem DeVaughn.
  5. Ear Drum marks the self-proclaimed BK MC's third full-length feature, and astoundingly, it's a captivating, cocksure rejoinder to everyone who abandoned him.
  6. There are enough different feels and flows to dazzle listeners with Kweli's dexterity, but some judicious editing could have produced something perhaps even more impressive.
  7. Talib Kweli has made the career-defining work that his fans have been expecting for nearly a decade.
  8. I Think, one of Talib Kweli's major goals with his music is to speak to (and from the vantage point of) groups that have been marginalized from "the norm." Ear Drum comes mighty close to reaching that goal, with only a few stumbles along the way.
  9. Ear Drum doesn’t reach the highs of that far more ambitious and sprawling album ["Train of Thought"], but it’s a welcome return to form.
  10. Sexual and spiritual, conscious and just plain fun, Eardrum is a master class in lyricism from a man supremely comfortable in his own skin.
  11. Kweli's collaborative work has set the bar so high that his solo efforts routinely fail to meet these exalted expectations.
  12. 80
    Ear Drum confirms Kweli's position as an icon. [Oct 2007, p.106]
  13. 86
    The production work throughout provides a head-bobbing, arm-waving backdrop to Kweli’s lyrical genius, exactly as it should.
  14. A procession of sharp cuts. [24 Aug 2007, p.133]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 34 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. KyleZ.
    Sep 11, 2007
    Album of the year. Hands down. Production from long time partner Hi-Tek on More or Less is phenomenal. The quintessential Hip-Hop album.
  2. EdwardH
    Sep 11, 2007
    He is a freekin' genius I have neva seen anyone outshine UGK not anyone, neva eva. But he doez it, his like tha lyrical perfection of He is a freekin' genius I have neva seen anyone outshine UGK not anyone, neva eva. But he doez it, his like tha lyrical perfection of Nas, Kanye West, and Jay z all in one. One of NY'z Finest, correction one of tha rap games finest, pure genius and raw rappin' talent dat is true and really really inspirational. Keep doin' yo thang man. Its rappers Iike you dat I live 2 hear in rap muzik. Full Review »
  3. prolifik
    Sep 9, 2007
    Solid album from start to finish, way better and consistent than Beautiful Struggle