Lasers - Lupe Fiasco
Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 27
  2. Negative: 3 out of 27
  1. Fiasco has since gone on record as saying he both loves and hates this album. After all he went through to get it released, it's hard to blame him. But all the hard work he supposedly put into making sure Lasers remained true to his vision seems all for naught.
  2. Mar 10, 2011
    60
    Lasers offers more substance when the reins are loosened.
  3. Mar 8, 2011
    70
    Lupe remains a singular hip hop voice, and Lasers is still worth a listen.
  4. Lasers is more an indictment of the state of mainstream rap than anything. This is the absolute worst-case scenario of what can happen when commerce is placed above art, and in this instance it's especially offensive because Lupe is someone who doesn't need to bend over backward to be accessible.
  5. Mar 8, 2011
    70
    Lasers oscillates between angsty rap-metal crossover tracks laden with political platitudes and blatantly clubby, bass-thumping radio-rap jams.
  6. Mar 7, 2011
    63
    Its best music shows what it might have been. The rest feels more like an obligation reluctantly met, a difficult bridge to the next phase of Lupe Fiasco's career.
  7. 80
    Fiasco's quite skilled at making catchy what is inherently a message many don't want to hear. He's at his most blatant, though, when he mixes his unique voice for the truth with emotional sentiments.
  8. Aug 4, 2011
    70
    Lupe seems to have accepted that Lasers is not the masterpiece he originally set out to make and is prepared to move on. Maybe we should follow his lead.
  9. Mar 15, 2011
    70
    While Lasers isn't the equal of its superb predecessors, there's still much here to admire; even though the fact that there isn't quite as much to love is no real surprise.
  10. 91
    Simply put, Lasers beams.
  11. Mar 4, 2011
    50
    Only traces of Lupe Fiasco's greatness are present on Lasers, and even then he sounds less focused.
  12. Mar 10, 2011
    63
    It's a moderate disappointment, then, that Lasers feels more like a compromise than a cohesive album.
  13. 40
    Save for the brief reprieves of the barbed, anti-everything 'Words I Never Said' and the historical rewrite of 'All Black Everything', Lasers walks a fine line between conscious hip-hop and sleepwalking.
  14. Mar 9, 2011
    60
    Lasers is an expressive album, more so than his previous records.
  15. Mar 4, 2011
    80
    Oddly, Lasers is Fiasco's most commercial-sounding album – but think of it as club music with a conscience.
  16. Mar 23, 2011
    60
    So the political nails are hidden deeply enough in the candy that sometimes it's hard to tell whether the juxtaposition is truly bracingly subversive or oddly self-defeating. Depending on your mood or disposition, maybe it's neither, either or both. A musical Rorschach test if there ever was one.
  17. Mar 16, 2011
    30
    Lupe often has enough trouble staying out of his own way, yet Lasers doesn't suffer for that reason; it just feels like the flaming wreckage of a project that never had a prayer.
  18. Mar 10, 2011
    10
    My jaw remains affixed to the ground, my main goal from this point onwards remains to never hear Lasers in its entirety again.
  19. Mar 21, 2011
    60
    There is no doubt that the first half of the album is where the "money" is – a top-heavy reflection of pop-muscle tracks where Lupe is generally playing second fiddle to the beats/choruses. That would have fine if the Chicago native had been allowed to go all out and express himself on the other six tracks, more akin to "All Black Everything" so you may well find yourself stalling after "The Show Goes On."
  20. Mar 8, 2011
    70
    Lupe's beats run from Nineties buoyancy to driving rap rock, but his most exciting tracks are operatic brawlers that give his athletic, whiplash flow and rich imagination room to move.
  21. Mar 11, 2011
    50
    Lupe's half-assed, club-ready radicalism is ultimately the most frustrating thing about Lasers, and not just because it provides numerous and obvious examples of rap's self-styled emancipator consorting with his avowed enemies.
  22. Mar 7, 2011
    60
    Lasers works best when the grabby hooks, electro beats, and conscious rap rants are all turned down a notch.
  23. Mar 10, 2011
    20
    Obviously, Atlantic did not rape Lupe into releasing a soulless, automated, corporate record. The real irony is that Lupe's fans demanded this garbage be released.
  24. Mar 9, 2011
    67
    Here's hoping whatever Fiasco does next, it's more on his terms.
  25. Mar 8, 2011
    40
    Instead of retaining his distinctiveness, as mainstream rap has become more like Lupe, so he's begun to sound more like everyone else on Lasers
  26. 40
    Now it's here, and it's a bit of a letdown.
  27. 60
    Lasers is a chaotic album full of gummy rhymes that look better on the page than they sound to the ear, delivered with a tone of tragic bombast.
User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 103 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 43
  2. Negative: 13 out of 43
  1. NJR
    Mar 8, 2011
    5
    Anything above 60 is just too high for this awful piece of work. The production sounds like it would be more suited to Kesha or Flo Rida, Lupe is really un focused for the majority of the LP, All Black Everything & Words I Never Said being the only two exeptions and the later was completely destroyed by awful production! Lupe can blame Atlantic all he wants but nobody forced him to release this and it's his name on the cover at the end of the day, this has seriously tarnished his otherwise brilliant career. Full Review »
  2. Mar 8, 2011
    1
    Lupe's latest effort is not even in the same realm as his previous two LPs. The production is pop-y, mainstream, wrought with auto-tune. Lupe's notable lyrical genius is also lacking on most tracks. Soundtrakk (who produced most of Food and Liqueur, as well as The Cool) is sorely missed. Atlantic and Lupe really screwed this one up with delays and the tracks they picked to be on the record. Full Review »
  3. Mar 12, 2011
    1
    This album is in no way comparable to his first two albums. As well as his beats sounding like they belong on a Ke$ha album, his once lyrical genius has been dumbed-down to the same standard as Taio Cruz.
    Perhaps the only chance at redemption is All Black Everything, commanding the same respect as any song off his last two albums, but it is not enough to stop this album and possibly Lupe himself dropping out of the league of hip-hop's greats and into that of any other over produced, under educated rapper.
    At one point in this album Lupe says "Failure's my last name, Never's my first one." We now know that as well as a sell out he is a liar.
    Full Review »