• Record Label:
  • Release Date:
Nobody's Smiling Image
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 42 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: The 10th full-length studio release for the Chicago rapper was produced by No I.D. and features guest appearances Jhené Aiko, Snoh Aalegra, Big Sean, Elijah Blake, Cocaine 80's, Dreezy, Lil Herb, and Malik Yusef.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Jul 22, 2014
    90
    Nobody’s Smiling is defiant, as full of commanding musicality as it is of Common’s own provocation.
  2. Jul 21, 2014
    80
    Common has crafted one of the best hip-hop albums of the year so far.
  3. Jul 21, 2014
    80
    The second half, where he traces his friendship with J Dilla, involves some brilliant storytelling, and perhaps the only moments during the album's sessions when Common cracked a smile while recording. It's a touching finish to the rapper's best album since Be.
  4. Aug 8, 2014
    80
    Common's latest, Nobody's Smiling, centers on the war-torn streets of South Side, Chicago that Common left nearly two decades ago, a setting the 42-year-old rapper navigates like a hardened local. The album's best moments explore this tension, proving that despite Common's age and commercial success, he can figuratively inhabit Chiraq better than most of the city's rising stars.
  5. Aug 28, 2014
    80
    Sounds dangerously like a genuine hip-hop album. [Sep 2014, p.114]
  6. 75
    Nobody’s Smiling is a well-rounded discourse on gang violence and inner city plight in Chicago that translates to almost every urban city in America.
  7. Jul 29, 2014
    57
    He set out to depict the pains of contemporary Chicago, but he ended up just making another Common album.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Jul 23, 2014
    9
    So far ..... this is one of the best Hip-Hop albums of the year, along with "Piñata" by Freddie Gibbs and Madlib. This album containsSo far ..... this is one of the best Hip-Hop albums of the year, along with "Piñata" by Freddie Gibbs and Madlib. This album contains Interesting, but overall great production. This is a concept album about Common's hometown Chicago, which contains lyrics and themes about violence, crime rates, and the economy of Chicago. The last track in the standard edition of this album contains an impressive tribute to the legendary deceased Hip-Hop producer J Dilla. Overall, Common hasn't been this impressive since "Be" and "Like Water for Chocolate". Expand
  2. Jul 23, 2014
    9
    This is vintage Common, so aggressive and lyrically sound. No ID was superb on the boards and even with the deluxe tracks the album clocks inThis is vintage Common, so aggressive and lyrically sound. No ID was superb on the boards and even with the deluxe tracks the album clocks in under an hour, perfect length. Chicago can stand up and be proud! Expand
  3. Apr 28, 2015
    9
    Common makes a great return with this album, definitely his best since Be. Most of the beats are great, Common is as good as ever on hisCommon makes a great return with this album, definitely his best since Be. Most of the beats are great, Common is as good as ever on his storytelling ability and brings the Chicago hip-hop sound to your home with dark and touching themes. Expand
  4. Aug 15, 2014
    8
    After his disappointing "The Dreamer, the Believer" album, Common has delivered a refreshing album that shows a true return to form. From theAfter his disappointing "The Dreamer, the Believer" album, Common has delivered a refreshing album that shows a true return to form. From the very first track, you feel like you're in the streets of Chicago, hearing the police sirens all around you. The production brought by No I.D. mixed with Common's vivid lyrical imagery really sets this album apart from the more recent releases from the 40 year old MC. Each track is burning with purpose (with the exception of Diamonds, featuring the multi-talented Big Sean), and Common's guests all serve their purpose well, delivering purposeful verses to their respective songs. This is undoubtedly Common's darkest album, and could very well be his best project since 2005's "Be". Expand
  5. Aug 24, 2014
    7
    Overall, Nobody's Smiling is a solid album. It has some definite lows in the middle with tracks such as "Blak Majik", "Speak My Piece", andOverall, Nobody's Smiling is a solid album. It has some definite lows in the middle with tracks such as "Blak Majik", "Speak My Piece", and "Hustle Harder", but those are sandwiched by good ones such as "Diamonds", "Kingdom", and "Rewind That". It is easy to become disillusioned by those middle tracks, but the inclusion of great tracks at the end brings you back into thinking this is a good album. As a whole, Common has released better ones, but Nobody's Smiling is a solid entry into his discography that gets the job done. Expand
  6. Aug 14, 2014
    7
    dark beats, some questionable guest appearances though. stand out tracks include 'blak majik' and the lead single 'kingdom.' at 10 tracks itdark beats, some questionable guest appearances though. stand out tracks include 'blak majik' and the lead single 'kingdom.' at 10 tracks it is short and sweet. Expand
  7. Aug 5, 2014
    6
    I am infinitely confused why this album is getting such high reviews. Half of the standard edition is composed of mediocre, sell-out tracksI am infinitely confused why this album is getting such high reviews. Half of the standard edition is composed of mediocre, sell-out tracks with very little of the lyrical depth Common has become known for. Songs such as "Blak Majik" and "Speak My Piece" were entirely centered around repeating samples/phrases. And let's ignore the fact Jhené Aiko performed far better on "Blak Majik" than Common did. He definitely should've traded out three of the standard edition tracks for the three deluxe edition tracks. "Hustle Harder", despite a fast and infectious flow, is a conceptual nightmare featuring little lyrical effort. Finally, "Diamonds" is an atrocious car crash of a song with semi-decent Common verses accentuated by a garbage Big Sean hook, all topped off with an awkward, choppy Sean verse at the end.
    Despite all of these glaring weak spots, "The Neighborhood" and "Nobody's Smiling" were solid tracks on the standard edition, as were "Out On Bond" and "Young Hearts Run Free" on the deluxe edition.
    "Kingdom", "Rewind That" & "7 Deadly Sins" were all masterpieces and manage to make this album a good listen in a weak year for rap. ~ 6.4/10 ~ including deluxe tracks: 6.9/10
    Expand

See all 11 User Reviews