Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. 100
    That he manages to express such ethical and religious principles without coming across like a sanctimonious buzz-killer is quite remarkable.
  2. 91
    Common attacks his ninth album with much intensity. [6 Jan 2012, p.73]
  3. Dec 20, 2011
    Together the two vets have created a work that's worthy of some serious recognition.
  4. Dec 19, 2011
    Every song on The Dreamer/The Believer succeeds off the strength of Common and No I.D.'s seasoned chemistry.
  5. Feb 2, 2012
    This isn't an album of 1990's styles brought to 2012 - these are contemporary beats and rhymes that can hang with anything else coming out on the scene
  6. Dec 21, 2011
    The Dreamer, The Believer reestablishes Common's place in the upper echelon of hip hop.
  7. Dec 20, 2011
    Common stands out from the best hip-hop albums of 2011 by doing what he has always done best since the '90s and standing firm in his style.
  8. Mar 22, 2012
    The fire is back in his belly. [Apr 2012, p.88]
  9. Mar 14, 2012
    [Common] delivers something fresh and vibrant by applying his seasoned skills to old-school breaks, classic hooks and a measure of eclecticism. [April 2012, p.104]
  10. Jan 3, 2012
    All of the tracks are produced by No I.D., with a fluid, melodic head-bobbing nod to R&B, giving Common plenty of room to weave his dreams.
  11. Dec 21, 2011
    The Dreamer/The Believer may be Com's most digestible LP to date.
  12. Jan 10, 2012
    For every bit of overcompensation--he actually cracks a bottle over a dude's head in "Raw"--there's something vividly rendered and honest.
  13. Dec 19, 2011
    Between the we-shall-overcome optimism and the get-loose lustiness, Common and No I.D. combine to deliver a knockout track that defines the album.
  14. Based on the strengths of The Dreamer/The Believer, it's simply nice to hear a resurgent Common back on track, doing what he does best, even if he's not the
  15. 70
    The album doesn't really spark until you fold in a few of the harder tracks.
  16. Dec 21, 2011
    He merges his raw lyrical roots with No I.D.'s voluminous soundtrack, resulting in a decent album far more celebratory than his previous work.
  17. Dec 20, 2011
    This is about as good as a rap album can be while still qualifying as inessential listening.
  18. Dec 20, 2011
    The best moments are bathed in a warm radiance that fosters a comforting, uplifting mood.... However, the content isn't exclusively cerebral, uplifting, and/or surreal.
  19. Dec 20, 2011
    He continues to impress and regress.
  20. It's a shame the God-bothering pomp of John Legend collaboration "The Believer" spoils it all at the end.
  21. Feb 17, 2012
    The lyrical intricacy and rhythmic playfulness of old are still there, but an arthritic creakiness creeps in, especially when he indulges in hackneyed poetism and dodgy wordplay. [Feb 2012, p.71]
  22. Jan 3, 2012
    I spend most of this album confused, disoriented and annoyed, yet as it comes to an end I'm curiously eager to give it one more spin.
  23. Dec 20, 2011
    Common can be too, well, common: a nice guy, whose boasts and bromides are too predictable to really inspire.
  24. Dec 15, 2011
    Compared to his earlier work, it's just decent.
  25. Dec 20, 2011
    It's a passable album of mostly neutral jams and bare-minimum production.
  26. Dec 20, 2011
    Common's latest shows him with his head in the clouds and addressing the same tired crowd with the same speech he's been writing for years.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 42 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Dec 21, 2011
    I like Common, and I have for a long time, that's why this cd was just "ok" for me. I like his flow, the beats are fine, but there's something missing for me. I think my expectations for his are so high, a conventional album just won't cut it from him anymore. It's very similar to Finding Forever for me. I did not like Universal Mind Control, but liked the idea of stepping outside of his box and trying something new. Full Review »
  2. Dec 21, 2011
    Fantastic flow, and tight lyrics... but that is what you expect with Common. The only downside one could say about this album is that it sounds somewhat like his old albums... he treads familiar waters you could say... but i sure as hell don't mind that at all. Its not revolutionary or a career best or classic. Its just good wholesome rap... and sadly we don't see a lot of that these days. Full Review »
  3. Jan 9, 2012
    It's a solid album that is significantly better than his experimental effort with UMC. Definitely strengthens his overall catalog, especially with songs like "The Dreamer", "Ghetto Dreams", "Blue Sky", "Sweet", "Raw", "Love I Lost" & "Cloth" all being on one disc. Solid 12 track LP, definitely worth of being in the 70's meta-score. Full Review »