Album Remarks & Appraisals:
One of the best-known and most acclaimed rappers in hip-hop, Talib Kweli makes his Warner Bros. debut with his first album on his own label, Blacksmith. Eardrum, his fourth solo album, delivers music that matters, that both sparks the mind and makes the body move. Solidifying Kweli's status among rap's most talented and important voices, Eardrum deserves to be heard.
Rolling Stone (p.68) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Talib Kweli earns the respect he gets. He's got plenty of brains and enough flow...he's balanced the two with integrity and grace."
Entertainment Weekly (p.133) - "It's a groovy jam session with thinky lyrics about decadence and empowerment." -- Grade: A
Uncut (p.96) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Madlib, Pete Rock and Kanye West turn in some of their best recent work....[Kweli] sounds nimble and at ease..."
CMJ (p.42) - "[The album covers] a range of lyrical topics and underground hip-hop styles with great success."
Steadily putting in work since the late 1990s, Talib Kweli first came to prominence as one half of both Black Star and Reflection Eternal, and earned a reputation as one of the most articulate lyricists in hip-hop. Four years after his acclaimed second solo LP, THE BEAUTIFUL STRUGGLE, Brooklyn's finest returns with the highly anticipated EARDRUM on his own label, Blacksmith Records. Calling on a formidable lineup of producers (including Pete Rock, Madlib, Just Blaze, will.i.am, A Kid Called Roots, Nick Speed, Justin Timberlake, Kanye West, and longtime collaborator DJ Hi-Tek) to provide the beatscapes, Kweli delivers a lyrical windstorm that goes from cultural criticism and pointed social protest to love letters to his kids, wistful memories of mid-'90s New York, and examinations of religious divisiveness. Featuring an impressive guest list of heavyweights such as Roy Ayers, UGK, Jean Grae, Strong Arm Steady, Norah Jones, Lyfe Jennings, Dion, Musiq (Soulchild), Justin Timberlake, and KRS-One, EARDRUM is proof positive that hip-hop has a lot more to offer than product placement, materialism, and misogyny.