David G. from BETHESDA, MD Reviewed on 4/25/2012...
a lot of people slept on this at first. not hook-oriented. I will listen again.
The difference between a Ringleader and A MC Clown
P. Brown | Bronx, New York United States | 01/03/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Electric Circus from Common is one of the must eccentric Hip Hop CD's that I have ever heard. As I was skimming through it my first impressing was "What in the world is this?" It was like Hip Hop was on an acid trip. Most of the beats had elements from the "seventies funk era." However I gave the CD another hear around, and listened to the lyrics and concept of the disc. Lyrically Common is very profound with expressing his stories, of Human Issues (Between Me, You & Liberation) & Love (Come Close). Out of 13 songs I enjoyed 8 (which is normal for me from a Common CD). The other 5 songs were okay, but either the production or lyrics got shuffled in the "Matrix", and lost my personal interest. I truly enjoyed this "collaged" of his interpretation of An "Electric Circus". It was something different and unique.
Lyrically Common is one of the "Ringleaders" in this Hip Hop madness. If you enjoy a "Mc Clown" who likes to brag about the people they killed, people they are sleeping with, and items they own then this CD is not for you. Only listeners with ability to enjoy "True Hip Hop" and doesn't settle for the regular "mode" of music could truly enjoy the message that the "Electric Circus" delivers.My picks from this CD.
Song that will get you hyped and Jumping
Electric Wire Hustler
New WaveSongs that will make your head swing (Mellow Madness)
Come Close (My Favorite)
I Am Music (Love The Beat and Jill Scott a is plus)
Aquarius (Hot)Songs with a very deep message
Heaven (Long but food for thought)
Between Me, You & Liberation (Very Deep)"
Come one, come all - the Electric Circus is in town...
JOHNBLAZE | Denver, CO, USA - The Mile High City | 12/12/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These days, it's pretty difficult for me to utter the word "perfection" in the music world. Aside from albums such as OutKast's "Aquemini", no album has ever really struck me as "perfect" - until now. Common has always been my favorite emcee, but I never expected this - never in a million years. Common has shown a type of growth and maturation the likes of which few have ever seen. His newfound maturity is easily seen on the lead single "Come Close" featuring none other than the infamous Mary J. Blige. When Common exclaims "The pimp in me/ it may have to die with you..." you get the feeling that he's serious this time. That's simply a taste of what on the album. I simply can't put into words the complexity of this album - every single track is a journey in itself. From "Electric Wire Hustler Flower" to "Star *69 (PS With Love)" to the stellar "Heaven Somewhere", you'll find that no part of this album is wasted on cliches and the usual barrage of mindless talk. Common, the hip-hop community thanks you for this album... Take a bow."
The Best Album Ever........Maybe
Donovan | Chicago, Illinois USA | 01/04/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've always been a fan of Common Sense, who has always served up an elegant mix of hip-hop, fused with other influences. On his prior albums, this influence has mainly been jazz. "Electric Circus", however, brings a new sound to the table, offering a fuse of rock, soul, jazz, and hip-hop. The finished project is the best album EVER!
From the Intro to the end, "Electric" startled me as to how one who lives now could make music that sounded like it was SO far in the future. When Gangster Rap has long gone, artists will turn to stuff like this for inspiration.
Tracks like "Soul Power", the first following the instrumental intro, really spoke to me, at first. The music behind Common's intelligent, enlightened lyrics, was like nothing I'd ever heard before, making me wonder how he made those warped whistling sounds. I couldn't tell whether it was Protools, Synthesizers, or live instruments. In any case, I loved it, and it only got better from there.
There's no bad track on the album, but the only song that isn't spectacular is "I Got A Right Ta Feel High" produced by the Neptunes, with Pharell singing the chorus in a rough, truck driver tone. While it was enjoyable, it didn't strike me as groundbreaking, like the rest of the album.
Despite that, this album shines, and if it isn't nominated for best album of the year in the Grammys, then I won't know what to say."
Unique album, that pushes Hip Hop's boundaries 3.5 Stars
K. Reynolds | VA United States | 12/12/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you are a Common Sense fan, this album will satisfy you. If you enjoyed Com's approach on his previous album "Like Water For Chocolate", then you will love "Electric Circus". This album is really more of a fusion album than anything else, but this album's overall focus is centered around the advancement of Hip-hop music and culture all together. He definitely eludes towards progression on this album and indicates that he has matured ultimately and has grown into a musician. Artistically the album is strong and provides the listener with continuity in production, due to the Soulaquarians. But don't get it twisted, Comm hasn't forgotten where he came from, he's still a Chi-Town b-boy. Especially on songs like "Soul Power" produced by the slept on Jay DEE (J-Dilla), Comm just goes straight for the throat. On "I Am Music" featuring Jill Scott, Common and Jill make harmony over an up tempo jazzy groove as they speak to the listener and portray themselves as music from a first person perspective. On "Aquarius" Common proves they he can still serve the listener with a multitude of puchlines and wordplay. On "New Wave" The production is extremely brilliant with a futuristic feel to it.Ultimately you can't hate Common for what he is trying to do here. The album's only low points are evident on "Electric Wire Hustle Flower" feat Sunny from POD which is a sour sounding attempt to fuse industrial heavy metal with hip-hop. "I Got a Right To" featuring Pharell from the Neptunes isn't really a great one either, as much as you try to force yourself to like it I guarantee that most folks will skip it. Finally, on the monotonous 12 minute long track "Heaven Somewhere" Common is rarely anywhere to be found, and all of the songstresses on the album sing for 12 minutes along with "Pop's Rap" but come off sounding like a bunch of hound dogs howling. Ultimately, If you liked Common back in his b-boy days when he hit us with classics like Can I Borrow a Dollar, Resurrection, and One Day It Will All Make Sense, you might be dissapointed, that particular sound within Common has faded away. This album will disappoint a lot of long time heads. I kind of wish he would collaborate with producers NO I.D. and Doug Inf. again. But you really can't be mad at Comm for trying to uplift the current stagnant state of Rap. Go Cop It!"
Eclectic and Daring
Timothy A. Dillinger | Nashville, TN United States | 10/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I gave this CD five stars simply because Common stepped out of his comfort zone and made an album that HE wanted to make. Musically, it is very experimental, fusing hip-hop with jazz, rock, ragtime, new wave and R&B. Lyrically, perhaps his most daring work, with the centerpiece being "Between You, Me & Liberation" on which he tackles molestation, cancer and homophobia in three well-written verses (feauting the incredible Ceee-lo Green as well on vocals). "Come Close" with Mary J. Blige reveals a more sensitive side of Common...apparently startling to some, but it's a nice offset for the avant-garde atmosphere of the rest of the CD. Prince appears on "Star 69" and Erykah Badu on the journey of "Jimi Was a Rock Star". Not for the narrow-minded, but for true art lovers, you will love this piece of work."