Gutter Rainbows


Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Gutter Rainbows may be the most accessible and varied album in his discography.
  2. Jan 27, 2011
    This is an odd thing to say, given the dumbness of so many contemporary rap songs--is that Kweli tries to cram too much awareness into his lines at the expense of rhymes and flow. But trying a little too hard to find enlightenment can be forgiven when it comes from within a genre that often tips bravado ahead of insight.
  3. Rainbows may well be the best thing Kweli has done since Quality.
  4. Jan 27, 2011
    Kweli blends a gritty outlook with a genuine interest in social issues to create an album that sounds refreshingly idealistic in a world still reeling from Kanye West's bombastic record.
  5. 70
    In that right, Gutter Rainbows is the ultimate success. However, in terms of accessibility, he's done better work, and this release will probably just go down as a good, but not a great Talib Kweli album.
  6. Aug 4, 2011
    The best moments on Gutter Rainbows actually come when Kweli pushes the hardest unto uncharted territory.
  7. Jan 27, 2011
    Accordingly, Gutter Rainbows too often feels like an unfulfilled promise--an excess of concrete and not enough vibrancy.
  8. Feb 4, 2011
    Gutter Rainbows may not be promoted heavily due to its independent release, but it should be rotated heavily in our MP3's, it's a definite win for the listener/consumer.
  9. Feb 18, 2011
    Like it not, Talib Kweli's place in hip hop has become something like Yo La Tengo's place in indie rock-a solid, moderately predictable journeyman who serves the musically leftish center with skill and charm, even if the frontier is now situated elsewhere.
  10. Jan 27, 2011
    In short, it's familiar without feeling rote.
  11. Feb 8, 2011
    Talib Kweli keeps the level of discourse high throughout Gutter Rainbows, and it should come as a surprise that some references he makes will go right over your head (props if you knew who knew Yohji Yamamoto was or what the Bhagavad Gita is).
  12. Jan 27, 2011
    The production (from Ski Beatz, 88-Keys, others) adds florid, melodramatic choruses to jazzy boom-bap tracks, blunting the impact of Kweli's dogged street intellectualism.
  13. Under The Radar
    Mar 9, 2011
    With production by Ski Beatz (among others), Kweli has rarely sounded so soulful and so immediate. [Feb 2011, p.74]
  14. Jan 27, 2011
    Talib seems to be coasting just a bit on this cut-and-paste session. As in, from a pure musical standpoint, outside of a few of repeat-worthy tracks, Gutter Rainbows, is no cure for your current cabin fever.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Feb 3, 2011
    Always the lyrical soldier who fails to forget who he is and where he comes from. Prepare to be astonished and inspired by an onslaught ofAlways the lyrical soldier who fails to forget who he is and where he comes from. Prepare to be astonished and inspired by an onslaught of spiritual hip-hop that though never aimed at the mainstream is unavoidably likeable. The beats are crafted with emphasis on impact and differ in style which helps to reinforce Kweli's uniqueness. He is a social leader of men (and women), someone whose spirituality transcends the genre that pigeonholes him, and worthy of recognition as Earth's finest rapper. The only way this album loses marks is because Talib's angle is typical and could be exposed as unoriginal, but that is as much a strength as it is a weakness. 92/100 Full Review »