It’s finally here. Lupe Fiasco’s super long-awaited 3rd album LASERS. I’m actually amazed it came out on time. I was certain there might have been a delay. Well then again former label mate Saigon dropped his long-delayed album this year and Dr Dre’s Detox is set to drop in the spring or summer so 2011 could go down as the year of long-awaited releases. So is Lasers worth the wait? After some repeated listens, yes. Is it Lupe’s best album? No.
If you’ve been following the drama surrounding this album, Lupe himself has denounced the record. He says it’s the Labels album and after hearing it I can see what he means. Lasers sounds the least like Lupe. It still has social and political commentary that Lupe is known for, but it lacks some of his amazing story telling skills he’s shown us on his previous albums “Food and Liquor” and “The Cool”. To me the biggest stumble on the album is the beat selection, something that has never been a problem before. “Break The Chains” and “I Don’t Want To Care Right Now” both sound like beats better suited for Far East Movement or B.O.B. respectively. Clearly these seem like beats Lupe was forced to use. Fortunately his rhymes and subject matter on both tracks are on point especially on “Break The Chains” it just needed a better beat.
Despite the bad production his lyrics shine through on every song. I still think he could have come harder with some of the wordplay on some songs. This is probably the most personal Lupe album to date, best example being “Beautiful Lasers”. Where he contemplates commiting suicide. The overall theme of the album is going against the establishment. Best example of that is the second single “Words I Never Said” featuring Skylar Grey. Here’s an example of some of what he says. “Your child’s future was the first to go with budget cuts/ If you think that hurts then, wait here comes the uppercut/The school was garbage in the first place, thats on the up and up”. Lupe goes in on everything he finds wrong with the world From Obama to Wars all over the world. Pretty good especially when the song was supposed to be a break-up song. I still wish it had “I’m Beaming” on it that is one of my favorite songs of his. I have to also say the collab with Trey Songz is surprisingly catchy and came out pretty good.
Overall I’m happy this album finally came out. If your a Lupe fan it’s worth getting, even if you aren’t and you like music with some substance it’s worth a listen. I’m just happy to have new music from Lupe. I still think he’s needed in Hip-Hop. I enjoy listening to the album and I know I will be for awhile to come. I only skip two songs on the album. I hope it sells enough so Lupe can make an album he wants to make and not something some clown in a suit wants. So until then, Love Always Shine Everytime Remember to Smile.