Finding Forever


Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 28
  2. Negative: 1 out of 28
  1. 'So Far to Go' embodies everything great about Common--his witty delivery, smooth flow, loquacious lyrics and perfect sense of timing --but then the same could be said for virtually any track on Finding Forever.
  2. The best music here is so deep it's more powerful than the rhymes.
  3. Spin
    Forever is livelier, grittier and better [than "Be."] [Aug 2007, p.101]
  4. Entertainment Weekly
    The album is both lush and gritty, integrating awkwardly hacked samples, rowdy percussion, and sweet backing vocals. [03 Aug 2007, p.67]
  5. It's tight, cohesive, devoid of filler, refreshingly brisk (at 50 minutes long), and sonically and lyrically focused.
  6. 80
    Finding Forever, Common’s spectacular seventh full-length, isn’t 'The Bitch in Yoo,' but it is his hardest release since.
  7. West produces the bulk again on Finding Forever, and it's his skill in embellishing a sample and his unerring eye for a soulful hook that is consistently bringing the best out of his mentor-turned-protege.
  8. Finding Forever is a winner, lean and mean and without a minute of wasted space.
  9. Common has made a record that follows the same formula as its predecessor. Not a bad move considering the success of the four-time Grammy Award-nominated "Be."
  10. Whether Finding Forever surpasses "Be" is a matter of individual, song-for-song taste: At worst, it's on par--a laudable accomplishment for a veteran now 15 years into his career.
  11. Finding Forever finds Common at his best lyrically, which means at his most basic, bending beats to fit his deliberate delivery.
  12. With Forever, Common delivers the expected--political, lover-man, and battle rhymes told with wit and complexity over street-commercial beats--in spades.
  13. Vibe
    Forever captures Common maturing graefully into his--and hip hop's--middle age at a time when many peers are either talking retirement or being forced into it. [August 2007, p73]
  14. Finding Forever, then, is Common's snapshot of hip-hop's awkward middle age--an album that is neither here nor there.
  15. His ear-grabbing command stands up to almost any MC out there.
  16. The album includes a handful of well-placed and effectual guest contributors, including Bilal, Dwele, Lily Allen, Common's dad, and the one and only Primo. Still, it's a shade less satisfying than "Be."
  17. Although Common has always been an earnest rapper, his drive to induce meaning on many of these tunes sometimes comes at the expense of catchiness. They're like cauliflower: nutritious, but without much flavor.
  18. The rest of it though, is soulful and intelligent where 'intelligent' is not exclusive to 'good beats and rhymes.' Which is what it's all about.
  19. Blender
    Kayne West once again saves his friend from the NAACP lecture circuit with soul-snapping beats that effectively turn the headliner into a guest star on his own album. [Aug 2007, p. 110]
  20. Finding Forever is something to be admired, even if it is uneven.
  21. If you can stomach the contrived slow jams and the sensitive soul-baring, there are a couple of decent joints produced by West.
  22. On paper then, Finding Forever has the dubious distinction of being the equal of "Be". In practice, its jaded formula falls someway short of the genuine energy of its predecessor's finer moments.
  23. Kanye West, who once again produces the majority of the album, has tried making a tribute to Common's Jay Dee-fueled Soulquarian-era sound, and he doesn't fit it well at all, managing half of its vibe and none of its energy.
  24. The disc is hook laden but the hooks are bland. The rapping is heartfelt but forgettable and, 'So Far To Go,' easily the highlight of the album, is actually a track of J Dilla's posthumous "The Shining."
  25. There is a place in this world (Pottery Barn maybe, or a future Eddie Murphy romantic comedy) for the R(ap)&B cocktail party that is Finding Forever.
  26. Common falters where he once shined, and the waning lyrical creativity and constant references to pop culture have caused him to lose touch with the rapper once renowned for his humility and perspective.
  27. In the act of making himself more accessible, Common’s verbal skills have slid into disrepair.
  28. The type of pretension that rears its fluffy manicured head on Finding Forever is one flatly insidious, lying in plush vibing harpsichord wait ("Intro"), in pattered bongo spoken word nobility ("Black Maybe"), and finally erupting in a 7½ minute crossharp-cooing, Crash-namedropping, butterfuck of pretension, exploding the boundaries of how fucking wack we ever, ever, ever thought Common could get.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 65 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 36
  2. Negative: 2 out of 36
  1. Aug 5, 2014
    Common occasionally comes across as a featuring artist on a string of instrumentals on Finding Forever, which is particularly disappointingCommon occasionally comes across as a featuring artist on a string of instrumentals on Finding Forever, which is particularly disappointing because of his significant lyrical and vocal ability. Despite this, much of the album is composed of grandiose production with intelligent lyrics. ~ 7.7/10

    Best tracks: "I Want You", "The Game" & "Break My Heart"
    Full Review »
  2. TONYB.
    Dec 31, 2007
  3. TrellT.
    Dec 6, 2007
    Nearly really is. Saved hip-hop for the year in my opinion.