Now that we had time to listen to the album, it's time to rate on a scale of 1-10 how good Lasers is. It's been a long time coming for this album to come through, but now it's here..ready for our opinions.
Track by Track Review:
1) Letting Go (10/10)-This is a perfect track to start off the album, Lupe brings out some good verses on this one, and Sarah Green does a good job singing in the end. This should've set the tone to how the album was gonna be. I also don't mind the affect Lupe was using during the song either.
2) Words I Never Said (10/10)-I thought the song was dope when it first came out, it's still dope now! The only thing that possibly could've prevented a 10 (but didn't) is the chorus by Skylar Grey. Beat is not too bad, but the best part of the song is the verses Lupe dropped on this song, especially his 3rd verse..which basically brought it home, and easily the best verse on the track.
3) Till I Get There (9/10)-I like the vibe this song brings, and Lupe flows very good on this one, as he talks about a bit of the delay Lasers went through (first verse is most noticable), the hook is also good as well, I like it. I also see this having a spring/summer vibe as well.
4) I Don't Wanna Care Right Now (6/10)-This is easily the worst song on the album, the beat sounds like a Black Eyed Peas outtake sped up (if not a typical BEP beat these days), and lyrically this is Lupe's weakest effort. There are also quite a bit of WTF moments (especially through a first listen on this song) with the effects done on some parts of Lupes voice that have no reason to be there in the first place. The chorus done by MDMA (aka Pooh Bear) is probably the best part of the song, and saves this song to ultimate mediocrity (would've been a 3/10 without the autotuned hook). However, the odd thing about me saying that this is the worst song is that I'm a guy that does like to dance, and this is a song I do see myself dancing to. Because of that, this is more of a Guilty Pleasure for me.
5) Out of My Head (6.5/10)-This song dissapointed me, the live version of this song is sooo much better than the album version. However, this has grown on me quite a bit, Trey Songz doesn't do too bad of a job on his part...and it's much more listenable for his part compared to that "Bottoms Up" bullshit we hear on the radio. Lupe doesn't sound as enthused on this song, and lyrically it's ok. Honestly, this song would've been better if it had more of an instrumental involvement, it should've had the guitar playing in the beginning, just like the live version, and maybe more drums playing as well.
6) The Show Goes On (7.5/10)-This is a pretty good first single, and I've actually grown to like this song more than I did when it first came out. Lyrically it's good (not the best, but good), and it does use the guitar riff done by Modest Mouse's "Float On" very well. Not much to really say much about it besides that it's good.
7) Beautiful Lasers (2 Ways) (11/10)-My favorite song off the album, and also the best one off the album. This is lyrically one of Lupe's best efforts, as well as being by far his most personal with him contemplating suicide, and finding a way to keep on living. I actually would've gone at an even higher score (like a 20/10), but the autotune used by MDMA--even though with it, it does give more of an epic feel to the song--does hinder the greatness of this track just a little bit. What's odd is that MDMA actually does have a good signing voice, which begs the question of why he's using it in the first place. As good as Beautiful Lasers is, it would've sounded better without the autotune..and could've been his most soulfull song ever without autotune.
8) Coming Up (9.5/10)-This is a really good feel good vibin' track. Many people say Lupe flows in a 2Pac kind of style, and I have to agree with them on that statement, it does sound vaguely similar to how 2Pac could flow on a song like this, and lyrically it's good. This is the only track MDMA is in that doesn't have a significant amount of autotune on him, and it does show how good his voice actually is..he does a great job on the hook, and I wish that he didn't use so much autotune as he did on Beautiful Lasers (with the case of IDWCRN, it pretty much saved the song). Overall, solid material.
9) State Run Radio (8.5/10)-One of the tracks people were looking forward to the most, and when they listened to the album version, it was one of the most dissapointing tracks off the album, mainly because of its hook, saying that it brought more of a 'Boy Band' feel to it. Me personally, I don't really have a problem with the hook, and lyrically Lupe is REALLY good on this track (one of his best efforts), which is a shame that people will say the track is bad..only because of the hook. However, with that said, this song would've been better if Lupe did the hook himself, because if that was the case, it would've been without a shadow of a doubt an Instant Classic for Lupe Fiasco. However, this may turn out to be the most underrated track on the album when it's all said and done.
10) Break the Chain (7/10)-I expected this to be better than what it turned out to become. Lupe's flow is pretty much 'Go-Go Gadget Flow' esque, and quite possibly one of his best flows that he's done on any track. However, Lupe should've been more "Super-Lyrical" on this track, and it does lead to an un-necessary affect at the very end of Lupe's last verse. Throughout this song, I've managed to understand a little bit of Sway's verse on this track, but it's still hard to memorize his lyrics by heart. It's probably the one thing that's criticized about UK rappers, where as when you have a singer from the UK, their accent isn't that noticable, where as for UK rappers...their accent is very noticable, and could lead to not understanding a word they're saying. This song would've been better if the chorus was toned down just a bit, because the chorus does get annoying, and kind of makes the listening experience of this song uneasy.
11) All Black Everything (10/10)-The song Lupe considers his masterpiece. Of all the beats from this album, this is possibly the best out of all the tracks (not counting the bonus tracks), it's nothing to flashy, which is actually a good thing. Beats very classy, as well as the chorus, and lyrically it's the closest of bringing the Food & Liquor/The Cool type of vibe. Overall, really solid, and one of the strongest tracks off the album.
12) Never Forget You (10/10)-This is a great closing track, and I'm glad that this track was on the album. This one hits more to home for people that have lost someone close, and is no question a tear jerker. If there's any song that could possibly make me cry, it's this song right here. I guess I'm more of a sucker of a sentimental song. This one is one of my personal favorites.
Although not as good as Food & Liquor or The Cool, Lasers is still a solid album in my opinion. However, if you would've replaced IDWCRN, Out of My Head and Break the Chain with Shining Down, I'm Beamin', or either What U Want, Scream and Army Girl, Lasers could've been an Instant Classic.
However, even though this will be viewed as a dissapointment to many people, the Petition and the Fiasco Friday protest that helped this album to be released won't be forgotten by anybody. Who knows what would've happened if none of these events took place.
I do see Lasers growing into people the more they listen to the album. Now that Lasers is out of the way, it's time to shift our focus to his next album, Food & Liquor 2: The Great American Rap Album!
So bring out your thoughts on the album on a scale of 1-10. Doing a track by track analysis is optional.