Common Electric Circus
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- Released: December 10, 2002
- Originally Released: 2002
- Label: MCA
Rolling Stone - 2/6/03, p.603 stars out of 5 - "...ELECTRIC CIRCUS is a wild, vibrant trip billowing with purple-haze guitars, ethereal choruses and warped scratching....Common makes it all fly, breaking hip-hop rules with a freewheeling fearlessness worthy of his guitar-god muse..."
Entertainment Weekly - 12/13/02, p.82"...Although he can be self-righteous, scattered, and grim, a team of truly youthful-minded producers is there to color the gray." Rating: A
Uncut - 3/03, p.954 stars out of 5 - "...Common's emphasis is more on social and historical awareness..."
CMJ - 1/27/03, p.6"...Common opens the tent door to his psychedelic ELECTRIC CIRCUS, following up the Jazz-inflected LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE with a flamboyant, swirling consciousness-rap opus..."
Vibe - p.75"[H]ere the Hendrix-influenced MC spits some of the sickest rhymes of his career. His lyrics slice like a machete through the purple haze concocted by producers..."
Mojo (Publisher) - 2/03, p.96"...[A] masterpiece....ELECTRIC CIRCUS is a record of startling breadth....An astounding record, unhesitatingly recommended..."
- 1.Ferris Wheel - (featuring Vinia Mojica / Marie Daulne)
- 2.Soul Power
- 3.Aquarius - (featuring Bilal)
- 4.Electric Wire Hustler Flower - (featuring Sonny)
- 5.Hustle, The - (featuring Omar / Dart Chillz)
- 6.Come Close - (featuring Mary J. Blige)
- 7.New Wave - (featuring Laetitia Sadier)
- 8.Star *69 (PS With Love) - (featuring Bilal)
- 9.I Got a Right Ta - (featuring Pharrell Williams)
- 10.Between Me, You and Liberation - (featuring Cee Lo)
- 11.I Am Music - (featuring Jill Scott)
- 12.Jimi Was a Rock Star - (featuring Erykah Badu)
- 13.Heaven Somewhere - (featuring Omar / Cee Lo / Bilal / Jill Scott / Mary J. Blige / Erykah Badu / Lonnie Lynn)
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
Personnel: Common (rap vocals); Erykah Badu (vocals, vinyl scratches); Cee-Lo, Sunny, Pharrell Williams, Laetitia Sadier, Bilal, Omar, Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, Lonnie "Pops" Lynn, Dart Chillz, Vinia Mojica, Marie Daulne (vocals); Dilla (electric guitar, Moog synthesizer, bass, drums, programming); James Poyser (guitar, piano, keyboards); Prince (guitar, keyboards); Jeff Lee Johnson (guitar); Bobbi Humphrey, Damon Bennett (flute); Nicholas Payton (trumpet); Greg Tardy (cornet); Vincent Gardne (trombone); Pino Palladino (bass); Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson (drums); Franklin Walker (percussion); Joe Sinista (vinyl scratches); Soulgo, Ebi Breezy, Tye Tribbett (background vocals).
Producers include: Dilla, James Poyser, Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson, Karriem Riggins, The Neptunes.
Personnel: Common (rap vocals); Erykah Badu (vocals, programming); Cee-Lo, Sonny, Pharrell Williams, Laetitia Sadier, Bilal, Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, Lonnie "Pops" Lynn, Dart Chillz, Vinia Mojica, Marie Daulne (vocals); Dilla (electric guitar, Moog synthesizer, bass, drums, programming); James Poyser (guitar, piano, keyboards); Prince (guitar, keyboards); Jeff Lee Johnson (guitar); Bobbi Humphrey, Damon Bennett (flute); Nicholas Payton (trumpet); Greg Tardy (cornet); Vincent Gardne (trombone); Pino Palladino (bass); Ahmir" ?uestlove" Thompson (drums); Franklin Walker (percussion); Joe Sinista (vinyl scratches); Soulgo, Ebi Breezy, Tye Tribbett (background vocals).
Producers include: Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson, Dilla, James Poyser, The Neptunes, Karriem Riggins.
Producers: The Neptunes, Jay Dee, Almir "?uestlove" Thompson, James Poyser,
Personnel: Cee Lo Green (vocals); James Poyser (guitar, piano, keyboards, hand claps); Prince (guitar, keyboards); Jef Lee Johnson (guitar); Damen Bennett, Bobbi Humphrey (flute); Nicholas Payton (trumpet); Greg Tardy (cornet); Questlove (drums, hand claps); Tye Tribbett & G.A., Mary J. Blige, Pharrell Williams, Bilal, Tye Tribbett (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Bob Powers; Questlove; Patrick Viala; Phil Tan; Russell Elevado; Bob Power.
Recording information: AXIS Studios, Philadelphia, PA; Chicago Recording Company, Chicago, IL; Electric Lady Studios, New York, NY; Patchwerk Studio, Atlanta, GA; Right Track Recording Studios, New York, NY; Signature Sound, San Diego, CA; Studio A, Dearborn Heights, MI; Studio A, Paisley Park, MN; The Hit Factory, Miami, FL; The Studio, Philadelphia, PA.
Photographer: Marc Baptiste.
When one thinks of progressive/"underground" hip-hop, few names spring to mind as quickly as that of Common, who remains at the vanguard of the sub-genre with his eclectic musical vision and visionary lyricism, never failing to simultaneously innovate and impress. Much is made of Common's crossover appeal to hip rock audiences, and it surely speaks volumes about him that he sounds just as comfortable dueting with Mary J. Blige as he does with Stereolab singer Laetitia Sadler, but that's only the tip of the iceberg.
Common isn't cool because he drops the names of alt-rock saints like Kurt Cobain and records at the legendary Hendrix-associated Electric Ladyland studios. Rather, he's cool because his vision expands out beyond such simple stylistic designations as "rap," "rock," or "R&B." Throughout ELECTRIC CIRCUS, Common bears echoes of everyone from Prince to Marvin Gaye to the aforementioned guitar god (who gets his own homage on the freaky, psychedelicized experimentation of "Jimi Was a Rock Star"), but the important thing is that he melds it all into his own distinctive paradigm.
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