|After the successful collaborative effort with Madlib on Liberation, Talib Kweli has finally gotten the gears together and dropped his highly anticipated 5th solo album, Eardrum! With a broad range of producers on this one including Madlib, Pete Rock, Just Blaze, Hi-Tek, and Will.I.Am, it's apparent Kweli's pulling out all the stops for this one, keeping ears captivated over the 19 track affair! Appearances from UGK, Kanye West, Jean Grae, KRS-One, Sizzla and more! Just might be one of his best yet! Vinyl coming soon!|
|1.||Everything Man (feat. Sonia Sanchez)|
|2.||NY Weather Report|
|3.||Hostile Gospel Pt. 1 (Deliver Us)|
|4.||Say Something (feat. Jean Grae)|
|5.||Country Cousins (feat. UGK / Raheem DeVaughn)|
|7.||Eat to Live|
|8.||In the Mood (feat. Kanye West / Roy Ayers)|
|9.||Soon the New Day (feat. Norah Jones)|
|10.||Give 'Em Hell (feat. Lyfe Jennings)|
|11.||More or Less (feat. Dion)|
|14.||Space Fruit (Interlude)|
|15.||Perfect Beat (feat. KRS-One)|
|16.||Oh My Stars (feat. Musiq Soulchild)|
|18.||Go With Us|
|19.||Hostile Gospel Pt. 2 (Deliver Me) (feat. Sizzla)|
|20.||Nature (feat. Justin Timberlake)|
Material to tickle you tympanic membrane (4 Stars)
, March 7, 2008
- See all my reviews
When I first looked at the list of collaborators for this album, I thought it would for sure end up a cluttered unfocused mess. The list of producers, engineers, live musicians, scratch DJs & guest rappers is among the most extensive I've ever seen. Surprisingly, "Ear Drum" delivers near-flawless cohesiveness. Also, Talib Kweli is never outshined by his peers, and ultimately holds the album together with his gripping wordplay & conscious lyrics.
"NY Weather Report" kicks it off after an alluring intro. The dope beat is produced by Nick Speed & features scratches from legendary beat-makers DJ Cut Chemist & DJ Jazzy Jeff - a solid joint. "Hostile Gospel Pt. 1 (Deliver Us)" produced by Just Blaze is alright, but overall, I'm not feeling the chorus sung by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus Academy. "Say Something" featuring Jean Grae, produced by Will.I.Am & scratched from DJ Rhettmatic (of the World Famous Beat Junkies) is a nice tune with nice lyrics. "Country Cousins" is my absolute favorite joint on the CD. It features excellent rapping from Bun B & Pimp C. (R.I.P.) of UGK, and nice vocals featuring Raheem Devaughn. It's arguably Kweli's finest lyrical performance on the whole disc. "Holy Moly" produced by Pete Rock is yet another quality cut. Perhaps the most addictive beat on the CD comes from Kanye West on "In The Mood" - excellent wordplay from Talib. And as usual, mediocre wordplay from Kanye. "Soon The New Day" featuring soothing vocals from Norah Jones is a nice change in formula. Hi-Tek stops by for a reunion on "More Or Less". Not the best here, but quality nonetheless. "Stay Around" is a gorgeous light-hearted joint boasting another dope beat by Pete Rock. "The Perfect Beat" produced by Swiff D, scratching by DJ Rhettmatic & a guest spot from KRS-One holds up pretty well...though I wouldn't call it a "perfect" beat. "Oh My Stars" featuring Musiq Soulchild adds the dose of soul the mix needs at this point. "Go With Us" featuring Strong Arm Steady is a gut thumper. "The Nature" produced and featuring Justin Timberlake surprised me. Nice beat, nice vocals, and great rapping from Kweli.
There are so many collaborators here (up to 11 artists on a single track), that it hardly seems like this would measure up to Kweli's undeniable masterpiece "Reflection Eternal" produced almost entirely by Hi-Tek. To be honest, some of the album does feel a little busy and directionless at times. But the high caliber of quality, and wealth of fantastic and exciting guest spots easily earns this fine album 4 stars.