Us - Brother Ali
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Universal acclaim - based on 12 Critics What's this?

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 20 Ratings

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  • Summary: The fourth album for the Minnesota-based artist features guests David "Stokley" Williams, Chuck D, Freeway, and Joell Ortiz.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. This album is so near-flawless it would be easy to go on and on about how you need to hear it as soon as possible.
  2. On Us, his deeply humane new album, that mad-prophet intensity can be exhausting, exhilarating, and downright transcendent.
  3. Us is uplifting, thought-provoking, funny, heartbreaking, and bootyshaking.
  4. There aren’t any questions about the quality of Us, an album filled with exceptional music; it’s a downright excellent release.
  5. The smart tracks build up the complexity of Ali's persona, while the dumb ones diminish it. The juxtaposition of these two different modes creates a fuller exposition than what you'll find on most hip-hop albums.
  6. It's an album that draws its strengths from the simultaneous expression of sympathy toward the people in the songs and anger toward the shit they've gone through.
  7. As it stands, Us lies at a precarious crossroads of self-help preaching and black history compendium, succeeding at neither and exposing a serious disconnect between lyricist and producer.

See all 12 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. BigTyBeatdowns
    Oct 7, 2009
    I'm a little mad at pitchfork for rating This instant classic they way they did, and they seem to be the best online rating website that I've found. This is the most riveting album to come along since man what album can I say here? the blueprint? maybe there have been other albums that literally force you to stop what you are doing and sit down and listen, but I can't think of any that have been this demanding. I did not think that hip would continue to reach these kinds of levels but thanks to brother ali it has. Every song is enjoyable and at their best they force you to think, not only about your life circumstances but the choices that have been made throughout American History. He actually forces us to ponder our own existences. What other album out this year has done that? Exactly. This Album kicks ass on everything else out this year Hip Hop or otherwise. Expand
  2. AnthonyM
    Nov 10, 2009
    This is hot. In all seriousness, I don't think there's a better rapper out there. There may be a couple who are just as good, but no one is better. Expand
  3. ArthurS
    Dec 7, 2009
    Amazing album. Ali makes lyrics that you really can relate to.
  4. MycroftW
    Oct 7, 2009
    Ant's beats are good as always, but Ali's raps are even better. If the worst thing you can say about someone is that he's somewhat reminiscent of Organized Konfusion-era Pharoahe Monch, than he's got to be straight fire. Expand
  5. DaleW
    Oct 30, 2009
    The vibe on "Us" tends to be slower and more mellow than previous releases, but this is the album Brother Ali needed to make: more mature, with less autobiographical songwriting. Half of the tracks are about himself, the other half are true, heart-wrenching stories from other's difficult lives. Great, intelligent songwriting and more excellent beats from Ant. I initially like each new Brother Ali LP less than the previous, but they grow on me and soon become my favorite. I'm sure it'll be the same with "Us". Expand
  6. KendoJ
    Oct 14, 2009
    8.5 I have precious few rap albums in my collection. Those few are awesome. This is now one of them.
  7. DawoudA
    Oct 16, 2009
    I don't understand why everyone is giving this goofball a free ride. The wince-worthy sincerity of his lyrics is the kind of sincerity that only a profound self-deception can engender. I think he's in that magical category where only people that are feeling what he's doing are reviewing him, and he gets this magical skew that propels his Metascore beyond hip hop albums that clearly eclipse this effort. I mean, I guess it's okay and all. He's not an incompetent artist or anything. But folks, really, a white black Muslim? Nobody's going to say anything? Seriously? Expand

See all 8 User Reviews