Let Love is clean, edifying rap that is as trusting as it is noble. The album, which Common has dubbed a companion to his new memoir, Let Love Have the Last Word, released earlier this year, is a meditation on love and its many forms—familial, romantic, five-pillars love (aka a love of hip-hop), self-love, the love of God, and an unconditional love he’d like to foster among all humans. Common would like to use his platform to change the world, but he’d settle for giving pep talks to anyone listening. “I’m in a phase, all I see is victory/You on that wave, then come and get with me,” the Chi-town guru raps on opener “Good Morning Love,” and while it’s unclear where exactly he’d like to lead us, his hope can be galvanizing.
Produced with a trio of jazz specialists—percussionist Karriem Riggins (who last collaborated with Common alongside Robert Glasper on 2018’s August Greene), composer and pianist Samora Pinderhughes, and upright bassist Burniss Earl Travis II—Common’s Let Love often sounds more like lounge music than rap music. It suits him. The live instrumentation, mostly warm keyboard chords and soft pattering drums, build mellow, subtle grooves that support both his vibe and demeanor. From the jam-heavy energy of “Leaders (Crib Love)” to the more muted “Show Me That You Love Me” with Jill Scott, these songs feel understated, constant, and tender, often in service of firsthand revelations.
|A1||Good Morning Love|
|A6||Forever Your Love|
|B1||Leaders (Crib Love)|
|B2||Memories Of Home|
|B3||Show Me That You Love|
|B4||My Fancy Free Future Love|
|B5||God Is Love|