Let me just start by saying I’m a Common supporter.

I own the man’s seven albums from Can I Borrow A Dollar to last year’s Finding Forever. Like, I actually cop his joints. You know us journalists get free CDs , but I still support when I like the artists. I got two copies of Be and two copies of Finding Forever, one from the label and one I purchased myself. I didn’t even think Electric Circus was that horrible. He had a few heaters on there. To this day, I wish he released a video for “I Am Music.”

But anyway, when I heard that Com was coming right back with another album this summer, my initial thought was, “thank God! We could use a new Com album right about now.” Only one thing though, Kanye West apparently didn’t contribute a single song to this album. At first I was like, cool. Hopefully he’ll get those Dr. Dre beats he’s been hoping for and will let will.i.am handle the bulk of the production. But so far, the only two producers listed for Invincible Summer are former Outkast producer, Mr. DJ and the Neptunes. Ugh! Don’t get me wrong, I love the Virginia nerds’ catalogue, but we all know Chad Hugo’s been sort of an absentee contributor as of late. How else do you explain that Hell Hath No Fury’s production was so disappointing? The beats just don’t sound the same when Pha-Real’s doing it dolo. Prior to the LP’s release, countless of my colleagues heralded the CD as a classic. No so much! Pusha-T and Malice did destroy the album on the lyrical tip, though. I just expected a “Neptunes-produced" effort to have more bang for my download buck.

The good news is Chad’s been touring with N.E.R.D., so maybe he’s back in the production fold. The bad news is “Universal Mind Control,” Com’s first release off Summer, just leaked, and it’s not too good. “This …is…that au-to-ma-tic/I stay fresh like I’m wrapped in plastic,” Common spits in the opening bars. That’s all I heard. I turned it off immediately. I later listened to it a few more times and still…nothing. I don’t like Com’s flow, not crazy bout the lyrics, don’t like the beat and I don’t like Pharrell’s hook. Now, I’m all for experimentation, but this just doesn’t fit Com to me. This is why Com and ‘Ye work so well. He gives him them smooth soulful backdrops that compliment his content and delivery so perfectly. Come to think about it, I wasn’t too crazy about Com and the ‘Tunes’ first two collaborations off Electric Circus, “Come Close” and “I Got Right Ta.”

I’m hoping the song grows on me by the fourth, fifth or sixth listen. If not, I’m scared. Granted, it’s only one song, but it’s definitely Com’s weakest release in years. This is also the first time Com drops two albums so close to one another. He usually takes at least two years off between projects, so hopefully Summer wasn’t rushed. What do you guys think? Anybody else a bit worried about Com’s new joint? Speak on it.