Common is back to his old self. And for those who didn’t really enjoy all those fancy electronic beats by the Neptunes on his last album »Universal Mind Control« that’s good news. On »The Dreamer/The Believer« Common goes back to mixing heavy boom bap samples with soulful pop ballads. After 17 years of not collaborating, this time the music comes from No I.D. once again, Kanye West’s mentor in his early days. Therefore the ninth studio recording by Common sounds like a mixture of the No I.D. production »Resurrection« (1994) and Kanye’s »Finding Forever« (2007): balanced and mature. Here the circuit is complete. After listening to the album repeatedly especially the rough and brute tracks »Sweet«, »Raw« and the Nas-featuring »Ghetto Dreams« are really impressive. With the usual self-confidence (»When I drop a single, it’s really like a pair of Air Jordan’s, important to the culture.«) Common shows that he’s still got it. Well, he could have skipped the side blow at Drake attacking him for his »sweet« crooners that he has himself plenty of on the record. As regards content it’s all about dreaming, believing, love and the state hip hop is in. Linguistically he therefore mixes religious cheesiness and sex sloganeering with hopeful pathos and swear words. All this sounds quite balanced, as he doesn’t encrypt the message neither is forcing it. After all, one thing had been made clear: Common’s music has more soul than all the »XXL-Freshmen« of the past five years together.