'Finding Forever' is Common's seventh album, and as is reflected in the album title, it sees him trying to leave a legacy to the world through his music. This is no mean feat, but it is a confident and consistent offering. Drawing on the production talents of Kanye West again, it is a strong follow-up to his 2005 album 'Be'.
The prelude is a lush and unusual opener for a hip-hop album. Its dreamy harp plucking and tinkly keyboards make a perfect segue into 'Start the Show'. Here Common's relaxed flow is complemented by Kanye West's production skills, with tender strings and gospel singing.
Lead single 'The People' is a more upbeat offering, and West's distinguishing production tweaks are more evident with speeded up vocal samples and a silken R&B hook.
'Drivin' Me Wild' is the most immediately likeable song on the album. It features Lily Allen - her distinctive vocals don't overwhelm the song - and the hook she provides is irresistibly catchy. The sweetly sad song attacks the obsession with celebrity culture and unattainable wealth.
The heartfelt yearning on 'I Want You' gives it a wonderfully seductive air, but the ambience is soon broken by the jarring 'Southside'. West should have taken a well deserved day off instead of annoyingly, and gratuitously yelling "south" in the background of the chorus. Coupled with the grating hook, this one is a blip in an otherwise great run of tracks.
'The Game', featuring DJ Premier on the decks, is a much more exciting offering, with his characteristic scratching and catchy horn section.
This may not be the most groundbreaking rap album you'll ever hear, but it is eminently likeable and there is barely a wrong step in the 13 track-long album.