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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Common
Electric Circus
MCA Records

Rating: 8/10 ?


October 1, 2004
The cover art for Common's new album Electric Circus is oddly reminiscent of that of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. On the cover of Electric Circus ringleader Common is surrounded by his circus of muses (most of whom appear on the album) including Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu, Jimi Hendrix, Prince, Cee-Lo, The Neptunes and the most mind-blowing, Stereolab. Swirling analog keyboards, "ba do da" vocals, a guest spot by Laetitia Sadier, and the strange big band rhythms that drive Electric Circus show Common paying major homage to Stereolab (as well as Prince and many others).

With the new-found sounds blended with his obsession with '70s soul, Common, at the height of his career, avoids resting on his laurels and makes "revolutionary blunted rap" that takes hip hop into a strange new world. Electric Circus is a stunning psychedelic redefinition of hip hop-in Common's words: "I used to write to please n*ggas now I write to freeze n*ggas."

I'm froze.

Electric Circus is recommended to pick up for fans of Outkast, Stereolab, early Prince, Cee-Lo, The Roots, et cetera.

Reviewed by Lyle Hodges
An infrequent LAS contributor based in New York City.

See other reviews by Lyle Hodges

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