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Common - Finding Forever

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Geffen
Common's latest release, "Finding Forever," is a pretty bland collection of soulful hip-hop tracks that makes you wish Common, who earned four 2006 Grammy nominations for his album "Be," would release something a little less common and a little more interesting.

To his credit, the Chicago hip-hop native's voice doesn't sound like anyone else, but this album doesn't show any songwriting progression or any spark that could put his unique sound and delivery to good use. Common doesn't produce party hip-hop or something that you would jam to while getting geared up for a night out, but rather soulful, more introspective rap tunes that, unless they chart new musical territory, sound like mall music.

A couple of songs rise above the boredom, namely "Drivin' Me Wild," which features the ever-bold and ever-dynamic Lily Allen. R&B-infused love songs like "So Far to Go" and "I Want You" are smooth and sexy, but sort of par-for-the-course, sensitive-rap-star songs. Common fails to bring any heat and leaves the record balmy at best.

"?Joe Wertz

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