Common - Be

I picked up Common's new album Finding Forever yesterday. I want to say how I feel about that album. But first I'll talk about Be, his previous release. This album was Common's "comeback" for a lot of people. Fans thought Electric Circus was a joke with Erykah Badu as the mastermind. But really, when you look at the relationship between The Soulquarians and their true influences, it had a ton of chemistry and is as close to a Soulquarian album as I think we'll get. Either way, Be was the return to form of Common that old fans were waiting for. To me it was a beautiful, simple and honest album. Common sounded completely natural over Kanye's instrumentals. It was a soulful release that I think, in some ways, harkens back to the spirit that artists like Donny Hathaway and Curtis Mayfield had in the 70's. In other words, it was one of my favorite albums of 2006. And I'll continue my point in tomorrow's post...

Besides the great music, the packaging had an impact on me as well. I think that the cover may be the best in Common's catalog, close to Like Water for Chocolate. The photo of his face almost looks like an illustration, slightly out of focus. It's simple, graphic and to the point. This was Common Sense. He was "himself" again. He was happy to be "back". It worked very well.

The shot was taken by Cass Bird, a photographer born in California and currently living in New York represented by the MS Logan Agency. According to her bio she has been featured regularly in Black Book, Big Magazine, Paper, The New Yorker, Fader and New York Times Magazine. She has also had her work exhibited as far as Italy. A large portion of her work seems to be well-done fashion photography. I especially like her black & white work. She also has a series of Polaroids on her personal site that I'm enjoying. As far as music goes, I see John Legend and Weezer in her portfolio as well.

You can see Cass Bird's work on her site and her agency's site.
Common Sense is here.

1 comment:

  1. GREAT cover. The extreme close up gives the cover a classic 70s soul or jazz LP vibe to it. Great photo. Nicely cropped. Beautiful simplicity. Iconic.