Common: Universal Music Control (Geffen)

So the man who’s known for his prolific words and tunes returns. UMC is Common on club-bangers, with The Neptunes to sex it up. Shirking his soul-jazz credibility for standard commercial viability, Common employs the chart hip hop hit formula to divisive effect – you’ll either love it or hate it. Cee-Lo fun things up on ‘Make My Day’ while the brilliant Muhsinah comes forward on the melodic ‘Changes’, a tribute to Common’s Chicago homeboy, Obama. It could also reflect Common’s own transformation – even dubbing himself “rap’s Ziggy Stardust” on ‘Gladiator’. Does it work? Here at JUICE, we think it’s all good. We accept change too.