Album Review: A Beautiful Revolution, Vol. 2 by Common
Very Good, Based on 3 Critics
musicOMH.com - 80 Based on rating 4
At this stage in his career, which itself is older than most rappers, Common's presence is as comforting as a mug of cocoa, and he's firmly in a soulful niche with his new album, A Beautiful Revolution Pt 2. Although this notion of revolution might be a little tame - his praise for "a woman vice-president that went to Howard" will raise eyebrows amongst those familiar with Kamala Harris' time as US attorney general - the details are buried in a record that focuses much more on good vibes and loving one another. Much of attention has been paid from front to back on the lush, multi-layered production.
This new album from legendary emcee Common relies too heavily on his ability to elevate stagnant songwriting through performance. It's evident on the bluesy "Poetry" as the track quickly flatlines after the introduction of its plucked guitar, or in the stationary "A Beautiful Chicago Kid", a track that resides in a compositional no man's land-pulled in every direction between taciturnity and elation. We hit a low point with the chaotic "Saving Grace", a languid exploration of the power of faith and manifestation that suffers from odd production choices.
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.