A late career high…

Common’s late-career high continues with the second aspect of his project ‘A Beautiful Revolution’. Continuing the focussed rap intensity which he harnessed on 2019’s ‘Let Love’, there’s a broadening of sonic palette that lean on his Soulquarian roots while also sounding refreshing and new.

Indeed, soul is a recurring theme on ‘A Beautiful Revolution Pt. 2’. Brittany Howard’s stellar performance on ‘Saving Grace’ truly elevates the song, while Black Thought and afrobeat wizard Seun Kuti combine on ‘When We Move’.

There’s a tightness to the curation that allows ‘A Beautiful Revolution Pt. 2’ to claim an identity of its own. A snappy 10 track run-down, Common’s eloquence on ‘Majesty (Where We Gonna Take It)’ is a true highlight, while his punchy performance on ‘A Beautiful Chicago Kid’ underlines his continued vitality.

An album pitched as a rebirth – themes of renewal and recovery proliferate the lyrics – Common is careful to layer personal concerns with broader resonance. ‘A Beautiful Revolution Pt. 2’ stares down the traumas that proliferate our lives, offering hope, creativity, and soul filtered through Common’s profound hip-hop vision.

8/10

Words: Robin Murray

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