- Audio CD (7 Mar. 2011)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Explicit Lyrics
- Label: Atlantic
- ASIN: B004IOP3R4
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 130,261 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Lasers Explicit Lyrics
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It’s been four years since Lupe Fiasco’s startling second outing, The Cool, confirmed the Chicago rapper as an important new maverick figure in hip hop. Since then, wrangles over creative direction with his label Atlantic (bizarrely, they wanted hits – as opposed to most major labels who are just begging for a King of Limbs from every artist) have delayed and derailed his plans for the follow-up.
The dispute between the forces of creativity and commerce are writ large across the finished product. "Things are getting out of control / Feels like I’m running out of soul" claims the opening track Letting Go, and yet the world-weary feel works well. Hip hop purists might baulk at the creamy melodies that dress up Lupe’s breathless diatribes, yet there’s something riveting about the undercurrent of confusion that envelopes this tune. Better still is Words I Never Said, taking scattershot aim at everything from Obama’s policy on Gaza to education budget cuts. It’s Lupe at his brilliant best – with ideas spewing forth at a rate which leaves your head spinning.
After that, though, RnB syrup starts to swamp the lyrical invention. It’s depressing that such an original talent still feels the need to coat every vocal melody in the electro-voiced gloop of A*to-T*ne, in stark non-contrast to 97% of current chart singles. Is the label solely to blame for that?
Cuts like the bouncing, urgent I Don’t Wanna Care Right Now are infectious pop-rap which would do lesser talents proud, while The Show Goes On engagingly samples Modest Mouse. But ultimately, where The Cool continually pricked up your ears, large swathes of Lasers go in one and out of the other. Then you hear the penultimate track, All Black Everything, and get another glimpse of what this man is capable of. It’s a ‘what if…?’ satirical reimagining of history wherein slavery never happened, considering its knock-on effects on modern cultural landscape. "The rat pack was a cool group of black men," he tells us, "that inspired the five white guys called the Jacksons."
For inspired moments like that, and a couple of other tracks where he lets his talent run wild, Lupe remains a singular hip hop voice, and Lasers is still worth a listen.
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Top Customer Reviews
Consequently, the album is ultimately a quite radical direction from Lupe, possibly because of the intervening of the company forcing him to make his music 'appeal to the crowd' (in other words, become more mainstream). An example is arguably the worst track on the LP, 'State Run Radio', which sounds nothing like Lupe would have made and, while the production is stellar on this track and the rest of the album, has too much of a dance-pop feel. The chorus is embarrassing for an artist that once maintained mainstream popularity whilst staying true to its roots, and 'Lasers' has an abundance of them.
Another track that divides my opinion is 'Break the Chain'. The production is stark and dark, and Eric Turner turns a repetitive chorus into something that is quite haunting to listen to. But again, this has a different sound to anything Lupe has done before. You wouldn't find this kind of track on his previous classics, such as The Cool and Food and Liquor.
Despite this, there are many positives that save this album, and it is probably one of the strongest rap albums being released this year. One of my favourite tracks, 'All Black Everything', has the same signature sound and feel of the Old Lupe, with a wonderfully opulent Kanye West-type of production.Read more ›
Maybe not you're typical hip hop / rap album, but it makes a nice change. No two songs sound the same. Some have hip hop feel, others dance, others pop/rock. Some songs even border more on singing than rap. But something that continues throughout the album are his deep, thoughtful lyrics, something that I appreciate hearing in rap rather than just sex and drugs. Although Lupe Fiasco may not be the most amazing rapper of all time, in my personal opinion, other rappers should learn a lesson from him.
I look forward to hearing more from him again as I really liked this album, would reccommend, especially if you're a fan of the likes of B.o.B.
That said, the second track 'Words I never said' is perhaps the best song on the whole album with strong vocals from every major hip hop artists new favourite feature artist, Skylar Grey. The combination of strong vocals and a social commentary on topics such as politics, terrorism and growing up in the hood demonstrates Lupe at his best. Lupe notes 'just listenin to Pac, ain't goin make it stop' when discussing life in the hood and questions the governments role in 9/11 with the line '9/11, building 7, did they reali pull it, and a bunch of other cover-ups''.
'Till I get there' switches things up again with a softer tone that is catchy and nice to listen to. This track demonstrates the versatility of Lupe who is not bound in the constraints of one particular style. What's more, this is best demonstrated with the next track 'I don't wanna care right now' which raises the tempo again and is set to be a hit on dance floors everywhere.
Tracks 5-9 are by no means album fillers, however nothing stand outs as particularly special. Of these tracks my favourite is 'State run radio' which is slightly let down by a repeated chorus 'and over again...and over again', however this is only a minor gripe.Read more ›
Lupe is still on form, with classy lyrics and clever rhymes. The main problem is the beats that go with his lyrics. Over produced pop for the most part, with choruses that would sound more at home on a Tinchy Stryder album. It also lacks much in the way of good guest vocals. Sway is a great inclusion, but no one else stands out.
I like this album, but I don't love it. I expected more.
If you haven't already, please get his first two albums before this.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great album by one of hip hop's finest lyrically blessed no flaws on this diamondPublished on 11 Oct. 2014 by wyse 1
... This album just left me wanting more! Lupe is pure rap genius. I need 'Tetsuo and Youth' in my life... NOW!!!! #patientlywaitingPublished on 23 May 2014 by Avid reader
Good cd got in for traveling in the car , and the words he raps about do touch home not ur usually gangster rapperPublished on 15 April 2014 by Baloo bear
I loved it. I think it's one of his best albums. It's thought provoking as well being good music which is pretty hard to come by these days. Read morePublished on 17 Mar. 2014 by Jasmine
lupe as usual introduces some interesting subjects. listening requires you to use your brain. so not the normal boring rap s***e!give it a listen ;)Published on 30 May 2013 by Amazon Customer
Loyalty, I love the guy and though it's not hard to see why a split opinion exists on this album, I find it a pleasure to listen to mainly and "wherever possible", Lupe has put his... Read morePublished on 13 Nov. 2012 by Laurence Edwards
I remember seeing Lupe supporting Kanye West before anyone had even heard of him. The moment he opened his mouth and spat out "Kick, Push" I knew he was one to watch despite the... Read morePublished on 23 July 2012 by SABRE
I remember waiting for this albums release with bated breath, I'm a big Lupe fan. This, however, is diluted pop rap material, with only a single notable exception for "Words I... Read morePublished on 17 Mar. 2012 by AJ Graham