Electric Circus Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 20 Ratings

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  • Summary: On his fifth album, the underground rapper ventures more into the rock, soul, and jazz territory of his influences, with production help from the Soulaquarians. An eclectic array of guests includes Prince, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Bilal, Mary J. Blige, and Stereolab's Laetitia Sadier.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. The Electric Circus turns out to be a place that exists in Hip-hopolis and Rawk City and Bacharachville and DixieLand and Heaven, all at the same time. Holy crap, people, Com did it: he broke on through to the other side.
  2. While Talib's Quality and The Roots' Phrenology break new ground for both acts, Electric Circus is clearly the most adventurous of the trio of releases.
  3. 100
    While those seeking a quick fix of cheap thrills hip hop will be disappointed, anyone who likes their music lush, multi-layered and lyrical should pick this up without delay.
  4. Even the psychedelic overreach shows a most uncommon artist at work. [Feb 2003, p.64]
  5. If Prince had ever successfully come to grips with hip hop, this is what the result might have sounded like.
  6. Like The Roots' new Phrenology, Electric Circus possesses many of the weaknesses associated with ambition: a bloated running time, the faint aroma of pretension, an obligatory spoken-word piece, and songs that outlast their welcome.
  7. 40
    Its attempts at a more ethereal sound crash up against Common's cumbersome intellectualizing. [#13, p.91]

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. ScottyS
    Aug 1, 2006
    Dude this album is hot to me better than BE. So what if he has too many guests Common is trying to shar eto us other artist that are great and we never heard of like Laetita Sadier of Stereolab, Bilal,Dart Chillz, and Omar Collapse
  2. JimmyP
    Sep 1, 2005
    This album is unbelievable. I enjoyed this album so much. This cd is ambitious, and it's great that Common took a chance. To me Star 69 and Come close are the standouts Expand
  3. TylerH
    Jan 22, 2006
    Genius, Jimmy P. knows what hes talking about. Star 69, come close, between me you and liberation. Common is a lyrical genius and this album is a classic. Im woundering how ne one thought it was better than "Be" i mean "Be" was good but just not up to commons standards. Expand
  4. Aug 18, 2014
    Electric Circus is a flawed, yet beautiful, one-of-a-kind album. It's hard to top Common's creativity, artistic touch, and musicality on this record. ~ 8.2/10

    Best track: "Come Close" (feat. Mary J. Blige): It's one of the more traditional hip hop songs on the album, but it's emotional and heartfelt.

    Other notable tracks: "I Got A Right Ta", "I Am Music" & "Jimi Was A Rock Star"

See all 6 User Reviews