[RH Review] The Dreamer, The Believer
These are hard times. With the economy, global revolutions and civil unrest, it’s easy to see the state of the world and slip into pessimism. It’s interesting then that Common picks this time to release perhaps his most optimistic offering yet in The Dreamer, The Believer. The album, a sleek 12 songs, carries with it deep running themes of positive thinking, faith, and love (even when love is lost). After dropping the lukewarm LP, Universal Mind Control, Common returned to producer No ID for production on The Dreamer, The Believer. The two did what they do best by retreating into the sounds and spirits of golden-era Hip Hop, a music that Common helped to shape and influence when he gave a Windy City homecooking to beats and rhymes from New York City and Los Angeles.
“You should know where I come from. You should know who I am,” Common states on “Sweet”, one of the album’s fiercest records. While the line is a direct challenge to Hip Hop artists that do more singing than rhyming, it’s also very fitting for The Dreamer, The Believer, which is a return to Common’s roots. It seems like Common is in a peculiar pattern dating back to Electric Circus. He releases a more experimental project that doesn’t really hit, only to return with something undeniable. It happened with Be and Finding Forever, and is now upon us again with this follow-up to UMC. In a way, The Dreamer, The Believer, is the perfect release for these days and times. Sonically as well as thematically, the album communicates persistence, faith, and positive thinking, while being realistic. This is music you can believe in.