Review Summary: 94's Resurrection is a great record, with highlights as high as the sky, but suffers from being too complex for complexities sake.
One song title should automatically give Resurrection
true meaning: “I Used to Love H.E.R.”. A song detailing how hip hop evolved and ultimately died through the metaphor of a past love of Common, it’s a brilliant show case of story-telling and is a classic in hip hop. Rappers nowadays constantly try to flip that song, which is unfortunate, as none will do it as well as the mindful song off formerly unknown artist Common’s sophomore release. Now, a question is begged from the listeners: is the rest of Resurrection
quite on the level of the legacy making song? Of course not, but it’s still something worth listening to from the mid-90s collection of hip hop gems.
Now, as a sophomore album, Resurrection
is a bit of an immature record. Common’s first record, Can I Borrow A Dollar
, is a rap record built entirely around two factors: Common’s MCing, and pure fun. Resurrection
, unlike his one dimensional debut, shows at least two dimensions throughout, but it’s still jumpy and a bit jagged in flow. Common sort of switches from sentimentalisms, streetisms, and social consciousness like that on songs of “I Used To Love H.E.R.” and “Chapter 13: Poor Man vs. Rich Man” to pure fun tracks that envelop themselves in Common’s individuality like “Thisisme”, “Watermelon”, and “Comunism”. One major derailing flaw in the albums flow is points where Common wants to really take time to show of his ability. His a bit of a syllable packer, going more for lyrical stylings than actual sensical MCing. He starts off the record with the wordy gibberish of the title track, undertoned with jazzy piano loops, and its hard to really believe that the same meaningful “I Used To Love H.E.R.” came from the same record as this song.
Common’s lyrics, however, are also a major asset to the record. Befitting perfectly to No I.D.’s jazzy loops and mellow atmospheres, Common mostly possesses a carefree atmosphere around the mic. He switches his flows around, from mellow, free flowing story telling, to internal rhyming, syllable packing, lyrical swipes at wack MCs. Common’s universally easy tone makes his words ooze from his lips to perfection.
Part of Resurrection
’s charm is Common’s wholly effortless rapping, even when lyrically he’s trying to pull syllables out of his ass. It’s all smooth 90’s rap, horn samples abound, chopping drums, booming bass (via No I.D. before he started making beats out of the toilet), and a microphone for the MC to rip. The simplicity of the record, and how everything fuses together, is how Resurrection
has been recognized over the years. Even with it's minor flaws, it's still a great record, and it's notable songs make it even better.