Yes, I'm aware that there's a whole sticked topic on the album, this is just my honest review of it:
After the controversy, the disgruntled comments, the fan-based protests, Lupe's long-awaited third album, Lasers, has come to the forefront. There have been tons of reviews on it, and by the looks of them, none held the album in high regard when you compare it to the outright awesomeness of his two previous offerings, Food and Liquor and The Cool. This time around, though it seems as though all the in-house fighting with Atlantic Records is very evident on the album.
Does Lupe still have 'it?': Yes. Most definately. Starting off nice however, with "Letting Go" was a great jump-off point. Let's get something straight; Lupe is still head-to-toe THE most talented lyricist in the game right now, as the next track "Words I Never Said" illustrates as he speaks upon the evils on today's world. "All Black Everything" is a very promising tune as well, as he dreams what could be and what should have been. And I LOVE "State Run Radio" with the rock-infused rage against the politics out today, almost like a rebel's new "psyche-me-up" theme. Bar for bar, homeboy is STILL nice. Don't sleep on that, regardless of what the tracks sound like.
So, what...HAPPENED??: If he is as mentally withdrawn as he claimed this album made him, then my guess is the production and creative control - or lack, thereof - drove him to it. Listening to this album, while put together pretty well, doesn't lead me to believe this came from Lupe. Rather this sounds like Atlantic had a little more sayso of what made the cutting room floor. All of the futurish-sounding tunes, "I Don't Wanna Care Right Now" sounds rather uber-popish (tho I admit, that could be an arranger's special) and that it would belong more on a TRL countdown. "Out of My Head" with Trey Songz probably never should've made the final cut, or at least put on Trey's next album. And I will NEVER be a fan of Lupe singing Autotune like on "Beautiful Lasers". To me, the production of this album sounds like leftovers of a Kanye joint than Fiasco's work. This effects the balance that Lupe had with the ability to just murder tracks.
Lyricism - 9.25/10
Production - 8/10
Album Cohesiveness - 7/10
Replay Value - 7/10
Overall - 7.5/10
Look, Lasers isn't a bad album to the masses. Not by any means. But it DOES pale in comparison to the rest of his catalogue. I guess this album can serve as the quintessential cautionary tale for all you up-and-coming emcees/rappers of be careful what you sign, cause what YOU vision for your art and what will be presented to the masses after running though all the red tape can be extremely different. I have no doubt that's what happened to Lupe here. It's like he still wants to be the rebellious hip-hop persona that brought him to the head of the table, but someone took that rebellion and blended it with a Jersey Shore episode in hopes it would sell. I just hope this isn't the end of his journey (I've heard rumors that a Food & Liquor 2 may be on the way, so I'm crossing my fingers), but for now, I'll have to do nothing more that call this album the equivalent of Nastradamus, Encore, and 808s & Heartbreaks - the symbolization of an artists low point in their professional career.
Personal Favorite Tracks: State Run Radio, Letting Go, Words I Never Said