A couple of years after asking Can I Borrow a Dollar?
and before he lost the "sense" in his moniker, the Chicago MC now known as Common dropped this impressive sophomore set, marking him as one of the most versatile MCs to emerge in the 1990s. Shirking the often derivative flows of his debut, Resurrection
finds the Windy City rhymer ably assisted by the voluptuous jazzy excursions of producers No I.D. & Ynot. He revels in ear-tickling wordplay, slinging countless witty punchlines and similes on "Orange Pineapple Juice" and "Communism"--songs that require several listens to unravel. Far from relentless chest-thumping bravado, Common's lyrics have substance, exploring inner faults and fears on "Book of Life" and touching poignancy on his classic metaphorical ode to hip-hop culture, "I Used to Love H.E.R.," a track that is perhaps more relevant today than when it was released. The beginnings of Common's ongoing struggle between his boyish effusiveness and moral responsibility, which figures greatly in his subsequent releases, is captured on this essential release. --Del F. Cowie