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Lights! Cameras! ... Lasers! (Review)
1.) Letting Go — – 3/5
2.) Words I Never Said — – 3.5/5
3.) Till I Get There — – 2/5
4.) I Don’t Want to Care Right Now — – 2/5
5.) Out of my Head — – 4/5
6.) The Show Goes On — – 2.5/5
7.) Beautiful Lasers (2 Ways) — – 1/5
8.) Coming Up — – 3/5
9.) State Run Radio — – 1/5
10.) Break the Chain — – 1/5
11.) All Black Everything — – 3.5/5
12.) Never Forget You — – 3.5./5
Lasers kicks off with Letting Go featuring Sarah Green, for an opener, it wasn’t too bad. The song put me in a good mood, and got me anticipating the rest of the album. Which is exactly what it’s there for. What caught me off guard was Lupe’s use of vocal effects; I can understand why people say that this was his commercial release. It wasn’t shocking, but I wasn’t expecting it.
Track two is Words I Never Said featuring Skylar Grey. Upon hearing the intro, I almost thought I re-downloaded I Need a Doctor on accident. I swear she used the same melody — which is a little tacky if you ask me. Regardless of what the hook sounds like, Lupe is fantastic on this song. I really like the lyrical theme (War on Terror) and the flow he’s going with, parallels with the beat wonderfully.
Following is Till I Get There, finally — no feature, just Lupe. It’s a very straight forward track, he’s letting everyone know that “he’ll get there when he get’s there” and his relaxed lifestyle is his way of doing things. The song reminds me a lot of Billionaire by Travie McCoy. Which honestly, I didn’t like. On my second listen, I thought I was a little harsh with my first take on the song, but then I heard the chorus… Cheesy.
Next up is I Don’t Want to Care Right Now featuring MDMA. First thing I noticed, besides the very electronic heavy beat was more vocal effects. The flow of the verses wasn’t bad at all and the beat grew on me and I even found my head bobbing along (first listen). Where I lost the vibe was on the choruses. Very standard issue, effect-singing… Doesn’t work for me. Or Lupe.
Lupe I want you to know… I can’t get this song Out of my Head! I like Trey Songz and I like Lupe Fiasco. Them together on this track is, so far, the best track on the album. It’s a very positive song and gives off good vibes. Like sunshine. I can completely understand why some people may not like it, for its mainstream feel and single-worthy length, at 3:24. Despite it’s commercial appeal, I thoroughly enjoyed the track and did just what I want a song to do.. Give off a true feeling. Happiness.
LA-SER. And in comes The Show Goes On, the song I’ve seen the Eastern and Western NBA Finals get previewed over. And over. Sports Center is not a bad place to first hear a new song from a top artist, it’s also the place where I first heard Jay-Z’s Empire State of Mind. But back to the song; The beat ain’t bad, the message ain’t bad, the flow ain’t bad… The song ain’t bad. But if it weren’t for Sports Center, or the radio, I wouldn’t remember it. Lupe’s shot at a mainstream track may have succeeded due to marketing, but the actual quality of the song suffered. As it goes with most artist’s singles.
Have I mentioned the dominant use of vocal effects yet? Yes. Yes, I have. And it isn’t going anywhere. Beautiful Lasers (2 Ways) with MDMA is no different. The song opens with the hook and it sounds like a bad ripoff of something from Kanye’s 808’s and Heartbreak. (Which I actually liked!) In the same fashion as the first half of the album, Lupe’s verses aren’t too bad, some solid flow and lyrical content, but the catchy, effect-friendly choruses aren’t getting the job done. As a matter of fact, this song sucks upon first listen.
Now we’ve got Coming Up with even more MDMA. Starting off again, the song is solid, chorus isn’t too hot. But the beat and Lupe’s flow stands above some of the other tracks and the song becomes pretty average. I am still seeing this album as a borderline dance album.
State Run Radio featuring Matt Mahaffey. Guitars? Let’s give it a try… I don’t know Matt Mahaffey, but judging off of this song, I do not like him. Lupe’s verses are getting lost a midst the shit bridge and chorus. I would have better off never hearing this. I don’t care if it’s a good message, this song is not what I want to hear from Lupe Fiasco. You’re telling me the guy that made Food and Liquor allowed this to have his name attached?
Very funny naming your song Break the Chain, yet sounding like A) the rest of your album and B) a standard shitty pop-dance track with rap for verses. Doesn’t Pitbull do this EXACT routine? Lupe… What the fuck is going on? Yeah… If features Sway and Eric Turner. I always like Chicago shout outs in songs, so it does have that going for it. Or maybe I’d prefer that they take the greatest city in the world out of the lyrics. Put in Miami or something.
Don’t think All Black Everything would be the opposite of Jeezy’s All White Everything, Lupe is rapping about a dream that all black people were back in Africa. This song is the first on the album that shows Lupe’s true form. This is the first song off of the album after Out of my Head that I didn’t want to skip after a minute in.
Never Forget You with John Legend? Yes. This is what I want to hear more of. John Legend has a beautiful voice, which pairs great with Lupe’s rhymes. The beat was a little lacking, but I would much rather have these two on the same track with no vocal effects than the rest of this album.
Wrap up: I was disappointed. Lupe is a phenomenal rapper. He has a true talent for rhyming and getting points across with rap as a medium. Unfortunately, this album felt as if he were put into a mold and didn’t have much option to get out of it. There are exactly no memorable tracks on the album. I, personally, liked Out of my Head, but I completely understand why most Lupe fans wouldn’t approve. I could handle the first half of the album, then it just went downhill. If he was trying to be different, he needs to know that he fell into the category with other non-conformists that end up conforming. I’ll replay it again someday, but if I need to make room on my iPod, I wouldn’t hesitate to let this go. Sorry Lupe… I expected better.
Final Ratings: 26/60 = 43% = 2.16/5
Out of my head “best song on the album”… trust me, if you hear it 2 more times, not even consecutively, your opinion will definitely change
Haha, I knew it was going to be something that I’d personally like more than others. I know its Lupe’s most current single, but I also don’t listen to the radio often. So I don’t have songs butchered for me too often. All Black Everything is a very good track. If I took my own personal taste out of the equation, it’d be safe to assume that would be the “best song of the album.”
album is whack. shocked you liked out of my head though. to each his own
I love how the good songs are all a 2 and the pop songs are a 4+..
You must be reading the wrong review. There is a total of ONE song with a 4/5 rating. And the other songs on the album deserved 2/5. Dance tracks with auto-tuned choruses aren’t something I want to hear when I put in a Lupe Fiasco album.
Till I Get There is a good song! The lyricism is strong and fuck you, I like the chorus D:
you didnt like till i get there? thought it was the best, even tho the album sucked
Its just cheesy. A little too cheesy for me.
I like 2 Ways….
I like all black everything and I liked words i never said untill i heard my pop loving sisters and girls at my school listening to it.
I think at some point you have to ignore the whether its the kind of song you expect Lupe to record and judge the song on its own merits. Haven said that, it’s hard to give Till I get there and State Run radio such poor ratings. The lyrics on these were much better than those on Out of my head, never leave you etc Whether you think the sounds are cheesy or not should not come into what is supposed to be a fairly objective review on the album. On a whole though I agree with you that it was a disappointing album, just believe there are enough examples that demonstrate lupe’s lyricism.
Yeah, I hate “Outta My Head,” but I do love the way you rated this. Very concrete, and almost scientific, with the percentage and all. Also, you clearly listened to it from an objective stand point, which is also a great thing.
I agree that a lot of the lyrics Lupe had put down for the album were good and the majority are well above average. But when I listen to a song, I want to get a full vibe or feeling from it; I want to be in the zone when I hear it. I’m not going to even bother giving an average rating to a song that I’m going to forget about 20 minutes later. I don’t want to have to block out a bunch bullshit just to enjoy ONLY the lyrics. I think I did listen to the songs individually and gave them individual rating, based on what the entire song had to offer. State Run Radio is still one of the worst songs I’ve heard this year.
But hey, I am an individual and certainly not a professional. So this is a personal review that I am sharing with everyone. And thanks for everyone giving me props, I like writing these; not sure what should be next for me.
“State Run Radio is still one of the worst songs I’ve heard this year"
Damn, I listened to the song just so I could agree or disagree with you, but I have to hand it to you, it’s pretty bad.