Universal Mind Control Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 26 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 24 Ratings

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  • Summary: The rapper's eighth album features Pharrell Williams, Cee-Lo Green, and Kanye West as guests.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 26
  2. Negative: 3 out of 26
  1. 80
    Tough and determinedly sexed-up, here you'll find talk of beefs, booty and bitches, rather than brotherhood. Producers Neptunes and OutKast's Mr DJ oversee this exercise in alluringly moderne hip hop. [Oct 2008, p.83]
  2. 70
    While we're used to Common in the role of poetic prophet or self-righteous rhyme slayer, Universal Mind Control is primarily a rhythmic celebration, paying tribute to Afrika Bambaataa and Jonzun Crew jams.
  3. 60
    The first side's carnal workouts are muscular of beat, but let down by Common's awkward dirty-talk....The more 'conscious' ssecond half plays better. [Feb 2009, p.106]
  4. Common's here to have a good time, no strings attached, with uneven results.
  5. He is a mimic of fine abilities, but he has always sounded like whatever group he’s glommed onto.
  6. So there’s no shortage of sick beats, but Common’s decision to dumb down his rhymes to a rude and rudimentary level comes off horribly crass at best and at worst downright embarrassing.
  7. Universal Mind Control is a painful misstep from a talented rapper who's decided to be as nasty as he wants to be--which turns out to be much, much nastier than we'd like.

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 10
  2. Negative: 2 out of 10
  1. mark
    Dec 9, 2008
    Underrated; its short, but it doesn't need to be any longer and it seems like people go into the album hoping to come away hating it because of the change of sound, even though it doesn't appear to be a permanent style change... it's really not all that bad to be honest. Expand
  2. FrantzL.
    Dec 10, 2008
    This Album is really good because of the fact that common changed the music up on his tracks and still kept the meaning. Notice when he raps about sex its not just about calling girls names but he lyrical makes sex more sexier. He is a legend and for a legend to get this type of recognition...its shameful. He cant win can he? When he raps "conciously" he's hailed as a lyricist that cant sell. And when he switches it up a little by getting beats that people cn dance too he's labeled a failure? This album was extremely creative and original and i give it a 9 out of 10 Expand
  3. PeterF
    Jul 10, 2009
    This album is awesome. From best first track of album ever (UMC- maybe best song on album, definitely best beat on album) to great turntablism in Inhale. In my ladder of US hip-hop albums, second after 808s and Heartbreaks. Expand
  4. LawrenceH.
    Dec 9, 2008
    Universal Mind Control is generally a fun album to listen to if you can get past Common's mediocre punchlines and lyrics.
  5. JimmyP
    Dec 9, 2008
    I love Common. He is on my top 10, but I think that he is outta element on this cd. Party jams isn't exactly his forte. It's not a bad cd by anymeans, but I didn't think that I would put Common and mediocore cd in the same sentence. The second have gets better which makes its an above all just okay listen. Expand
  6. ClifC
    Apr 26, 2009
    Entertainment Weekly said it all. Big, big, big, biiiiig disappointment! Some good moments though ("Universal Mind Control" & "Everywhere").
  7. Jun 3, 2011
    First of all any Common fan would know this album is shocking. He changed his style, his content for this?! Hopefully his next album will be NOTHING like this and he be back to his old self. Expand

See all 10 User Reviews