Recording information: 4220 Studios, Hollywood, CA; Dirty Laborty Studio, Denver, CO; Homeschool Studios, New York, NY; Record One Studios, Sherman Oaks, CA.
Photographer: Steven Taylor .
On The Dreamer/The Believer, Common works extensively with producer and fellow Chicagoan No I.D. for the first time since 1997's One Day It'll All Make Sense. The album's title is reflected in a set of uplifting, positive material, and there are only three guests: Maya Angelou (on the opening "The Dreamer"), Nas (on the lead single "Ghetto Dreams"), and John Legend (on "The Believer").
Rolling Stone (p.57) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "No I.D., who produced all of Common's ninth album, grounds the songs with a steady bass and drums rumble..."
Spin (p.79) - "[T]he sunny, swaggering 'Blue Sky' chops ELO into a pulsing Technicolor beater. 'Sweet' is downright shocking -- a fiercely growled dis aimed at an unspecific singer-rapper."
Entertainment Weekly (p.73) - "[He] manages to turn a sample of ELO's 'Mr. Blue Sky' into an elbow-throwing banger." -- Grade: A-
Billboard (p.16) - "The track 'Sweet' is pure anger, while 'Gold' positions Common as a deliverer with a messianic mission. But even though his chin is out Common also wears his heart on his sleeve in these 12 tracks..."
Paste (magazine) - "[The album] shows Common as one of the greatest rappers out of Chicago, both influencing and being influenced by the likes of Kanye West and Rhymefest."
Pitchfork (Website) - "[The album] occasionally recalls the rough humanity and humble thoughtfulness of his still-untouchable mid-90s classics RESURRECTION and ONE DAY IT'LL ALL MAKE SENSE."