A special eight-song preview last night (April 29) reveals that Common’s upcoming eighth album, “Invincible Summer,” is shaping up to be an electro-tinged departure from the MC’s previous lyric-driven albums.
“I created this music for the summer time, it’s about feeling good,” Common tells Billboard.com. “This is the type of music I felt was missing from my body of work.”
“Invincible Summer,” which Common has been hard at work on for the last two months, is tentatively scheduled for mid-July. The high-energy track “Universal Mind Control (U.M.C.)” is likely be the first single, due by the end of May. The Neptunes and Outkast producer Mr. DJ produced the album. Kanye West, who helmed the production on Common’s last LP, 2007’s “Finding Forever,” did not contribute any tracks this time around.
“Kanye was focusing on his ‘Glow in the Dark’ show, so he hasn’t been able to make it to the studio to weigh in,” Common says. “But it worked out well, organically. The Neptunes & Mr. DJ came up with a fresh sound for me.”
Cee-Lo and The Neptunes’ pop group, Chester French, guest on the album, but Common says singer-MC Santogold is “one of my favorite artists right now” and adds that he’s awaiting a verse from her for the track “Runaway,” which draws its guitar riff from Pat Benatar’s ‘Love Is A Battlefield.”
“Invincible” features techno-inspired drums on “Universal Mind Control (U.M.C.),” spongy futuristic chords on “Make My Day” featuring Cee-Lo, and fuzzy kazoos on “Punch Love.”
Common will also appear this summer in the June 27 film “Wanted,” which co-stars James McAvoy, Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman.
“Invincible Summer” comes approximately one year after “Finding Forever,” which has sold 549,000 units to date, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Here is the preliminary track list for “Invincible Summer”:
“Universal Mind Control (U.M.C.)”
“Make My Day” feat. Cee-Lo
“What A World” feat. Chester French
“Runaway” feat. Santogold