One Day It'll All Make Sense



June 24th, 2008 | 11 replies

Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Better than Resurrection.

My journey into music was kicked into shape properly around about 2000. I'd basically been vaguely aware that music existed throughout the 1990s, but for one reason or another I never really became a true fan of anyone. I guess part of that was the fact that most of my favourite songs at the time turned out to be one-hit wonders - "Drinking in LA", "Steal My Sunshine", "You Get What You Give", even "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss" - and that left me stranded. Or maybe it was because the biggest influence I had - my sister - was already listening to stuff I wasn't ready for at such a young age. What she did leave me with, though, was a grounding in hip-hop. She listened to ragga and UK garage too, but it was 2Pac, Notorious B.I.G., Wu-Tang, Jay-Z, Nas, and probably a dozen others that really connected on any sort of meaningful level.

I've stated elsewhere that the album that really moulded me as a music obsessive was The Marshall Mathers LP. In retrospect it's a little annoying, or troubling, that it took a white guy to really make me obsess over an essentially black genre that I should have already loved, but in any case, that was the first album I'd heard that truly meant something to me. I began downloading rap tracks, listening to rap radio shows, watching the rap shows on MTV Base. And here's where the story hits Common. MTV Base used to have this hour-long show that I'd tape religiously, that was devoted to what most people would understand as 'conscious hip-hop', with a little bit of politics thrown in there too. Songs going through from Eve's "Love is Blind", to Public Enemy's "Fight The Power", to Common's own "I Used To Love H.E.R.", to 2Pac's "Dear Mama" and "Keep Ya Head Up", with something like LL Cool J's "I Need Love" wedged in every once in a while for good measure.

The second time I ever watched this show, "Retrospect For Life" came on. My jaw literally dropped, and I was nearly moved to tears. I'd kind of forgotten about that until I got this album, and that memory came flooding back. If I'm being honest, this song is as important to my musical development as any other, both as a listener and as a songwriter. It's just one of the most spiritual, moving things ever recorded to my ears, and it's still the blueprint for what I imagine whenever I hear somebody talking about hip-hop being 'real'. Matter of fact this might be my favourite performance on a single track by any rapper, ever. So many of these lines cut right through. Lauryn Hill singing Stevie Wonder on the hook is almost an afterthought but it still feels perfect.

So it goes without saying that "Retrospect for Life" dominates this album for me, the same way that "I Used To Love H.E.R." dominates Resurrection. It took me a while to get around that, but guess what" The rest of this album is great. The other tracks that stand out instantly are "G.O.D.", which is almost a companion piece to "Retrospective for Life", "Invocation", and "Reminding Me (Of Sef)", all of which are excellent. Similar credit needs to go to the remaining tracks that feature guests - I can't think of many rap records with a better chosen supporting cast. De la Soul offer the uplift after "Retrospect" on "Gettin' Down at the Amphitheater", Erykah Badu is her usual excellent self on "All Night Long", Black Thought and Q-Tip pop up on parts of the trilogy "Stolen Moments", and Canibus puts in a star turn on "Making A Name For Ourselves". I've never paid a great deal of attention to Canibus, and I've never really dug what I have heard, but he's quality on this.

One Day It'll All Make Sense is better than Resurrection. Both albums are solid, boasting one spectacular crown jewel in their armory, but for me the remainder of One Day is considerably more impressive than the other 14 songs on Resurrection. Controversial opinion, maybe, but I've plowed through all but one of Common's albums, and unless Like Water For Chocolate is spectacular, I count this as his masterpiece.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
June 24th 2008


I personally don't try to "personalise" my reviews, but what you've done here isn't all that bad. Pretty good work. Can't say I will be too eager to rush out and get this though.

June 24th 2008


I'm just curious was this the guy in Smoking Aces and the guy who Keannu Reeves popped in Street Kings? Either way, I've heard of this guy but never listened to his music. I'll check it out despite it not being my sauce. Review is good.This Message Edited On 06.24.08

Digging: Sum 41 - Order In Decline

Electric City
June 24th 2008



June 24th 2008


You notice when Keannu shoots Common, it's a borrowed technique from The Boondocks Saints. It's when Willem Dafoe first kills a guy dressed up in drag.This Message Edited On 06.24.08

June 24th 2008


Yeah, shits ridonkulous.

June 24th 2008


Album Rating: 4.5

Sweet, Common rules.

June 24th 2008


Like water for Chocolate is spectacular, and many common fans consider that to be his masterpiece, You should definately check it out.

June 24th 2008


'Like Water for Chocolate' is bad ass, check it out. -- though I've never heard this or 'Resurrection'
I need to get on that.
Sweet review.

June 24th 2008


I've been meaning to get into Common's back catalogue- I came in on Be- and this looks like a good place to start.

June 25th 2008


Donno why I haven't heard this one but better than Resurrection? I guess it's time I get to this, considering how much I love Resurrection.

June 25th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

Resurrection stands above this with head and shoulders, imo. This album has two of Common's best tracks (the two you mentioned) but also some of his more forgettable stuff. Resurrection doesn't have one subpar track, and is fantastic all the way through. Nevertheless, this album is still excellent, most of it is indeed spectacular.

Oh yeah, and Like Water For Chocolate is indeed very good, pretty much on the same level (perhaps even slightly better) as this one for me.

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