Kamaal The Abstract Image
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 8 Ratings

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  • Summary: Seven years later, Q-Tip finally sees his second album officially released. Arista Records shelved the album in 2002, which features a more jazzy feel than his debut, "Amplified."
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 13
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 13
  3. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. This wasn't the kind of record that lights up the charts--which could account for the reason it didn't appear on the shelves in late April 2002, as expected, and only earned an official release in 2009--but in many ways it's superior to the released Amplified.
  2. 80
    There are few high or low moments--which might put some listeners off--but texture and content, rather than pulse-raising histrionics, have always been Q-Tip specialties.
  3. The subtlety of musicianship on each track is quite brilliant.
  4. It's not that the record is so unclassifiable--shit is downright pleasant to listen to--as it exudes the confidence to acknowledge its influences and contemporaries with the same convivial grace that has marked Q-Tip's entire career.
  5. Q-Tip's voice retains its loose, slippery allure, but the disc feels like a worthy experiment abandoned halfway through; it doesn't end so much as nod off.
  6. Alternately sublime and aimless, Abstract is the sound of an artist evolving on wax, and while the growing pains show, they also help make the music surprisingly resonant.
  7. Kamaal the Abstract is not a great record by any means. But it is an interesting one, a unique effort by an artist struggling to mesh two disparate musical systems, gambling that inherent internal friction could spark some excitement.

See all 13 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Marko
    Oct 14, 2009
    10
    Another example why pitchfork should never review anything outside of their hipster comfort level.