Published Aug 27, 2019In a world that seems to be constantly in despair, the glue that bind trials and tribulations is found in one four-letter word: love. Veteran rapper Common, who's no stranger to being politically or socially active, and whose 2016 release Black America Again was unapologetic in telling the truth, has returned with a new album and a new approach to the world —Let Love.
Part spoken word, part bars and part educational, Let Love lays on the heartstrings of soulful jazz samples, piano-driven melodies and electric funk bass lines. Sonically, the album is a time capsule of the greatest moments in black music history. Lyrically, it's hard-hitting reality about the present day, the good, the bad and the horrific — but it's also a captivating tale about using love as a weapon to overcome, as well as the reality that sometimes love also fails, whether it be romantic, platonic or social.
Jill Scott, Leikeli47, Samora Pinderhughes, Leon Bridges, Daniel Caesar and BJ the Chicago Kid are a handful of guest that lend their hearts to Let Love, but its moments of clarity comes in the form of songs like "HER Love," a continuation of the 25-year-old "I Used to Love H.E.R." and "Forever Her Love," a seemingly second part to the J Dilla-produced "So Far to Go," released in 2007.
The aforementioned songs, as well as "Fifth Story" and "Memories of Home," prove that as far as Common has come in his career, life is constantly evolving and changing outside of the recording booth. And as odd-fitting as the Tribe Called Quest-like "Hercules" is in the grand picture of Let Love, it's a reminder that Common is going to rap his way to tell these stories forever. (Loma Vista)