True Magic [First Version] Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 9 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 15 Ratings

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  • Summary: Kanye West and Pharrell Williams are among the producers for the rapper's follow-up to 2004's 'The New Danger.' This version of the album is no longer officially available for sale; a second version with new artwork and a new tracklisting will be released in the spring of 2007.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 9
  2. Negative: 4 out of 9
  1. A Wu-Tangy darkness permeates the whole album, which is cluttered with gems both musical (live sax and jazz flute) and lyrical.
  2. The beautiful mess of Mos Def makes for a bumpy listen.
  3. Mos Def’s third album is worth a careful listen: it’s not a happy record, and there are few, if any, genius rhymes. But it speaks volumes about the frustration and resignation of the underprivileged.
  4. Everything about this album is half-assed: From the bafflingly bare packaging to the at-times miserable mix, True Magic is a mess.
  5. Mos Def may not be flossy or raw at this stage in his celebrated career, which is fine. But what he offers instead is lukewarm nostalgia and obligatory indignation. [8 Jan 2007]
  6. Quite possibly the worst record by a great emcee in recent memory.
  7. Like its predecessor, the equally undercooked "The New Danger," there is a sense that a deadline crawled up before the music was cemented. [13 Jan 2007]

See all 9 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. Dec 30, 2012
    I listened to this album in 2012 before reading any reviews. I was just getting to know mos def and I really liked it. I think there are definitely a few classics on this one, definitely a lot better than new danger, which I didn't really like. Expand
  2. andrew
    Feb 20, 2007
    I really don't get all the bad press. This album is much better than the disappointing New Danger. Not as good as Black on Both Sides, but still solid. I don't get all the hate. Had this since December and I've been rocking it on the regular ever since. Sure, the beats are minimalist, but that's fine with me. The New Danger was way overproduced anyways. Expand
  3. Ed
    Apr 20, 2007
    It's alternative, so not for everyone's taste. But if it's your taste (as it is mine) then it's top notch. It's refreshing to hear stuff like this alongside the more homogenous mainstream stuff. Plus I do like a retro nod. Expand
  4. GaborA
    Jan 19, 2007
    Even when he makes a bad album, this is leagues ahead of most of what hip hop has to offer these days. Not as intelligent as black on both sides but alive and creative nontheless. Expand
  5. mariop
    Feb 20, 2007
    I must agree with Daniston M. The tracks are killa, they way live instruments are used is enchanting. I was expecting more lyrical content. Hopefully his next album will not disappoint any. Expand
  6. JimmyZ
    Jan 23, 2007
    Critics were expecting way too much out of this album. It's got great production, and lyrically it was alright. However some of the songs sounded like filler tracks. I know I've heard better, but Mos Def still works for me. Expand
  7. Mr.Snake
    Jan 28, 2007
    What happened to this guy? Can't be the same Mos that was one half of Black Star. I think working with big names like Bruce Willis and Mark Wahlberg is getting to him. Expand

See all 10 User Reviews