Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. If you can't get with this expediently excessive piece of rich-get-richer, commercial rap albums are beyond your ken.
  2. With very little filler and a strong selection of songs from start to finish, the hype that this is potentially "album of the year" according to Atlantic Records may ACTUALLY be true.
  3. Despite his often earnest lyrics, the radio-friendly party anthems, flirty come-ons, collaborations with A-list pals (Rihanna, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Justin Timberlake), and outstanding production prove this beleaguered bad boy still knows how to have a good time.
  4. A welcome return to form after the underwhelming, muddled concept album "T.I. Vs. T.I.P.," Trail is an uneven but oft-invigorating combination of velvet and grit, angst and celebration.
  5. He's embodied literature's most popular archetype--the survivor--by transforming his woes into a reflective, enjoyable album.
  6. Paper Trail tops them both [previous two albums] simply by being content driven, from the plot to the refined delivery.
  7. 80
    His struggles did make for a strong album.
  8. Even with the burden of sloppy crossover tracks, Paper Trail has enough standout moments for T.I.’s throne to remain secure for now.
  9. There is a sense of urgency and a new dimension of self-reflection not touched upon throughout the holding pattern that was "T.I. vs T.I.P."
  10. More lyrical than Lil' Wayne and catchier than Young Jeezy, T.I. has once again proved the fact that he represents an excellent blend of lyrical talent and pop sensibility.
  11. House-arrested rapper defends his realm.
  12. 70
    T.I. boats one of gangsta rap's most mellifluous voices and more polysyllabic lexicons, and when he combines the two, he's dazzling, hypnotic, virtuosic. [Dec 08/Jan 09, p.82]
  13. Sequenced as the record is, with each personality dominating certain stretches of runtime, Paper Trail feels almost vaudevillian.
  14. Paper Trail more often succeeds when the positivity sounds more earned than court-ordered.
  15. T.I. is still a bit too keen to remake his signature hit 'What You Know,' but songs like the clever 'I'm Illy' and the Just Blaze-produced stomper 'Live Your Life' find T.I. reconciling himself to his lot in life: he's a well-oiled hit machine who's more fun than deep.
  16. T.I.'s voice is still one of the best instruments in all of hip-hop, but the vapidity of his words is all the more pronounced after his audience has been waiting so long for him to say something interesting.
  17. On what has been for the most part an impeccably executed commercial rap album, TI again reminds us what he’s really capable of.
  18. His apparent claims to have had "no choice" in his most recent legal entanglement--attempting to procure machine guns from an FBI cooperating witness--do him little credit, but the skilled, catchy choruses of On Top of the World, Whatever You Like and current UK hit Live Your Life suggest he is still a strong "buy".
  19. Though you'd be justified in hanging this writer for conflating person and persona, you're asked to contemplate the uneasy positivity that chacterizes Paper Trail's three mot popular songs. [Dec 2008, p.74]
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 64 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Mar 22, 2015
    8
    8.2/10................................................................................................................................................
  2. Mar 11, 2015
    9
    T.I. really packed a lot of quality into one album, ranging from other artists like Kanye West to John Legend, you won't be disappointed withT.I. really packed a lot of quality into one album, ranging from other artists like Kanye West to John Legend, you won't be disappointed with the diverse group of talent he's got in the album. Full Review »
  3. Mar 10, 2015
    9
    I have to admit, I never thought of T.I. as that great of a rapper, but this album shows he has truly become one. Lyrically, this is by farI have to admit, I never thought of T.I. as that great of a rapper, but this album shows he has truly become one. Lyrically, this is by far the best album T.I. has come out with. That, along with amazing beats makes this a great album throughout. Full Review »