The bulk of this 50-minute compilation is somewhere between a sampler and an imperfect best-of covering Common’s albums from 2000 through 2008. Like Water for Chocolate (2000), Electric Circus (2002), and Universal Mind Control (2008) are represented with one song each, while songs off Be (2005) and Finding Forever (2007) combine to make up over half the content. Bottom line: Like Water for Chocolate and, to a lesser extent, Electric Circus, deserve much more than footnote treatment. Furthermore, anyone remotely familiar with Common’s catalog would scoff at the notion that Finding Forever, out of the five albums, contains the most classics. The material not pulled from Common’s albums amounts to “The Bitch in Yoo” (the Pete Rock-produced dis track shot at Ice Cube), “Love of My Life” (Erykah Badu featuring Common, from the Brown Sugar soundtrack), and “Next Time (Just Right Version)” (a new laid-back cut produced by James Poyser that features background vocals from Queen Latifah). This is not an ideal overview of Common’s back catalog. One could make a superior alternate version covering the same ground with no overlap.
AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman
feat: Erykah Badu