Posted by , Jan 26, 2015 at 02:32pm
EDITOR RATING
84%
Golden: 4Broken: 0
Unanimous
AUDIENCE RATING
93%
226 votes
Editor reviews (tap to expand)
90%
Dallas Darden
Lupe's back
This is Lupe's best album since The Cool, and the only album he's made since that can be in a conversation with his first two. Lupe fans can rejoice knowing that he's back to his old ways.
51
83%
Patrick Lyons
An antidote to "Lasers"
After Lupe's attempt at making the radio flopped, "T & Y" finds him back in his element. That means conceptual subject matter, grandiose production, and a few overly ambitious missteps. A good comeback.
11
81%
Rose Lilah
Winter
Lupe Fiasco is in his zone with DJ Dahi and S1 providing the backdrop. Sticking to those 2 producers (for the most part) led to a cohesive sound, and tied together with Lupe's interludes, a narrative comes into play. Plus, lyrics. Need I say more.
01
80%
Trevor Smith
Lupe's best
For someone who has always admired Lupe Fiasco's talent, but never had a meaningful connection with one of his full lengths (yes, even the first two), "Tetsuo & Youth" arrives as a sprawling triumph, with Lupe finally reaching his full potential.
02
User  Rating:
very hottttt
93% (226)
Rate it!
audience rating
199 VERY HOTTTTT
10 HOTTTTT
8 MEH
1 NOT FEELING IT
8 MAKE IT STOP
User Rating:
93% (226)
Lupe Fiasco's newest album has many listeners saying that old Lupe is back. It looks like that may in fact be the case.

Lupe Fiasco has been in a battle with Atlantic records for what seems to be forever. We all know about his discontent with Lasers and on his mixtape Friend of the People he made it clear that he wanted off the label. He did not get his wish before this album dropped, and that almost prevented us from hearing this album entirely. Lupe has done interviews in which he says the album would never come out if Atlantic Records had their way. Given the acclaim that this album has been receiving lately, that would have been a tragedy.

Fortunately, help came in the form of an online hacktivist group called Anonymous. Apparently, the group Anonymous told Atlantic Records that they would launch an attack on Atlantic executives and associates if Tetsuo & Youth was not granted a release date. Within 24 hours, Lupe Fiasco received a call from his partner Chilly, in prison, telling him that Atlantic would be tweeting the release date later that day. If this album release story fits any artist it’s definitely Lupe Fiasco. This was also Lupe’s last project on Atlantic and he’s now a free man. But anyway, let’s get into this album.

The album has four interludes, each named after a season of the year. Aside from the final track “Spring”, they each usher in a new section of the album that fits the tone set by the season. The album starts with “Summer”, a minute and a half of gentle sounds and kids playing. The songs in summer have a happier feeling than the rest of the album. One of which is the song that everyone has been talking about nonstop, “Mural”. Mural has a nice piano-laden beat that Lupe lyrically rides with what seems like an endless amount of bars. If you wanted Lupe back, this is for you.

The next song we hear is “Blur My Hands”, featuring Guy Sebastian, essentially telling us don’t worry about the haters. Take those middle fingers they give you and turn them into a signal meaning number one. Then send them right back as if to say “I think you’re number one, too.” Anyone who has seen Lupe’s twitter can see why he goes this route.

Up next is half a minute of a pretty random banjo playing. It’s played well, mind you, but when you hear the rest of “Dots & Lines”, you might wonder why the banjo was necessary. The track would be pretty much the same if hadn’t started with that. This song is another strong one lyrically (what else do you expect), and it’s the first of a few on which we’re blessed with the lovely voice of Nikki Jean. Just barely though, as her background vocals are more subtle here.

That concludes "Summer", and next we move on to "Fall", which has a lower and slower feeling to it. There are still kids playing, but the music itself isn’t quite as light-hearted, and for good reason. Lupe says these interludes serve as palate cleansers, and these tracks, like the amazing double track “Prisoner 1 & 2” are definitely a different flavor. Lupe finishes the "Fall" section with two Nikki Jean features “Little Death” and “No Scratches”. The songs are very different though, as “No Scratches” is a lot more simplistic, while “Little Death” has tons of lines you could spend all day figuring out, much like “Body of Work”.

"Winter" is the first interlude with no kids playing and a completely different sound than the others. It feels cold with the wind blowing and eerie music that gives it an insidious sound. "Winter" is where we get the coldest and grittiest tracks on the LP. The nine minute long posse cut “Chopper” is tough to the point where it almost seems out of place, but it does present a narrative that warrants its presence. Songs like “Deliver” and “Madonna” tell the stories of Chicago, and the hood in general, in a way we’re more used to hearing from Lupe, making them both very powerful.

The last two songs of the album, Lupe’s personal favorite “Adoration of the Magi” and “They.Resurrect.Over.New” both seem to lean more toward the feeling of the “Spring” interlude, which concludes the album. These two songs both sound very different from the previous three “Winter” tracks, that all have the dark tones to them. Also, “T.R.O.N.” (with its very impressive Ab-Soul feature) does follow “Spring” if you listen to the album backwards, which many people have been suggesting for one reason or another.

Lupe Fiasco has called this his least-flawed album. While that is a bold claim considering how great his first two albums were, it is true that finding weak points in this album is very difficult. Food & Liquor 2 and Lasers both had their share of easily skippable tracks, but this album is one that can be listened to all the way through many times, despite the ambitious length of some of these songs, you don't grow weary of them. 

Review: Lupe Fiasco's "Tetsuo & Youth"

 
84%

Editor rating

Golden: 4 Broken: 0
Unanimous

Audience rating

226 votes
93 %

Editor Rating

90%
Dallas Darden Lupe's back
This is Lupe's best album since The Cool, and the only album he's made since that can be in a conversation with his first two. Lupe fans can rejoice knowing that he's back to his old ways.
51
83%
Patrick Lyons An antidote to "Lasers"
After Lupe's attempt at making the radio flopped, "T & Y" finds him back in his element. That means conceptual subject matter, grandiose production, and a few overly ambitious missteps. A good comeback.
11
81%
Rose Lilah Winter
Lupe Fiasco is in his zone with DJ Dahi and S1 providing the backdrop. Sticking to those 2 producers (for the most part) led to a cohesive sound, and tied together with Lupe's interludes, a narrative comes into play. Plus, lyrics. Need I say more.
01
80%
Trevor Smith Lupe's best
For someone who has always admired Lupe Fiasco's talent, but never had a meaningful connection with one of his full lengths (yes, even the first two), "Tetsuo & Youth" arrives as a sprawling triumph, with Lupe finally reaching his full potential.
02

Audience Rating

How do you rate this album/mixtape?
User  Rating:
audience rating
199 VERY HOTTTTT
10 HOTTTTT
8 MEH
1 NOT FEELING IT
8 MAKE IT STOP
 

Lupe Fiasco's newest album has many listeners saying that old Lupe is back. It looks like that may in fact be the case.


Lupe Fiasco has been in a battle with Atlantic records for what seems to be forever. We all know about his discontent with Lasers and on his mixtape Friend of the People he made it clear that he wanted off the label. He did not get his wish before this album dropped, and that almost prevented us from hearing this album entirely. Lupe has done interviews in which he says the album would never come out if Atlantic Records had their way. Given the acclaim that this album has been receiving lately, that would have been a tragedy.

Fortunately, help came in the form of an online hacktivist group called Anonymous. Apparently, the group Anonymous told Atlantic Records that they would launch an attack on Atlantic executives and associates if Tetsuo & Youth was not granted a release date. Within 24 hours, Lupe Fiasco received a call from his partner Chilly, in prison, telling him that Atlantic would be tweeting the release date later that day. If this album release story fits any artist it’s definitely Lupe Fiasco. This was also Lupe’s last project on Atlantic and he’s now a free man. But anyway, let’s get into this album.

The album has four interludes, each named after a season of the year. Aside from the final track “Spring”, they each usher in a new section of the album that fits the tone set by the season. The album starts with “Summer”, a minute and a half of gentle sounds and kids playing. The songs in summer have a happier feeling than the rest of the album. One of which is the song that everyone has been talking about nonstop, “Mural”. Mural has a nice piano-laden beat that Lupe lyrically rides with what seems like an endless amount of bars. If you wanted Lupe back, this is for you.

The next song we hear is “Blur My Hands”, featuring Guy Sebastian, essentially telling us don’t worry about the haters. Take those middle fingers they give you and turn them into a signal meaning number one. Then send them right back as if to say “I think you’re number one, too.” Anyone who has seen Lupe’s twitter can see why he goes this route.

Up next is half a minute of a pretty random banjo playing. It’s played well, mind you, but when you hear the rest of “Dots & Lines”, you might wonder why the banjo was necessary. The track would be pretty much the same if hadn’t started with that. This song is another strong one lyrically (what else do you expect), and it’s the first of a few on which we’re blessed with the lovely voice of Nikki Jean. Just barely though, as her background vocals are more subtle here.

That concludes "Summer", and next we move on to "Fall", which has a lower and slower feeling to it. There are still kids playing, but the music itself isn’t quite as light-hearted, and for good reason. Lupe says these interludes serve as palate cleansers, and these tracks, like the amazing double track “Prisoner 1 & 2” are definitely a different flavor. Lupe finishes the "Fall" section with two Nikki Jean features “Little Death” and “No Scratches”. The songs are very different though, as “No Scratches” is a lot more simplistic, while “Little Death” has tons of lines you could spend all day figuring out, much like “Body of Work”.

"Winter" is the first interlude with no kids playing and a completely different sound than the others. It feels cold with the wind blowing and eerie music that gives it an insidious sound. "Winter" is where we get the coldest and grittiest tracks on the LP. The nine minute long posse cut “Chopper” is tough to the point where it almost seems out of place, but it does present a narrative that warrants its presence. Songs like “Deliver” and “Madonna” tell the stories of Chicago, and the hood in general, in a way we’re more used to hearing from Lupe, making them both very powerful.

The last two songs of the album, Lupe’s personal favorite “Adoration of the Magi” and “They.Resurrect.Over.New” both seem to lean more toward the feeling of the “Spring” interlude, which concludes the album. These two songs both sound very different from the previous three “Winter” tracks, that all have the dark tones to them. Also, “T.R.O.N.” (with its very impressive Ab-Soul feature) does follow “Spring” if you listen to the album backwards, which many people have been suggesting for one reason or another.

Lupe Fiasco has called this his least-flawed album. While that is a bold claim considering how great his first two albums were, it is true that finding weak points in this album is very difficult. Food & Liquor 2 and Lasers both had their share of easily skippable tracks, but this album is one that can be listened to all the way through many times, despite the ambitious length of some of these songs, you don't grow weary of them. 

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