I disagree with the previous reviewer. In my opinion this is their best album. Here's why:
I have always felt that 9th wonder could not carry an album. That feeling has not changed. I honestly think he's a pretty good producer. He is certainly influential and I respect him for that. Unfortunately, I find I it listen to more than 5 or 6 tracks he produced in a row. I find myself hitting the skip button. His beats are too interchangeable, and he's hardly grown as a producer.
The production on this album varies much more than their previous two and that allows Phonte and Big Pooh to exercise their chops over more diverse beatscapes. Illmind comes correct on all the tracks he helmed. 9th, Khrysis, Nottz and Hi-Tek all hold their own. There's some really nice beats all over. I think the weakest track production-wise is "Extrahard" produced by Mr. Porter. It's too bad because I've heard some way nicer stuff from him.
Phonte is engaging, witty and evolving. He makes rapping look easy. His personality is dominating and ever-present.
I have come to appreciate Big Pooh much more in the last couple of years. He is perpetually leaving his lyrical self in the dust. His efforts are paying off because he sounds way more polished and assertive.
Phonte & Bog Pooh sound more hungry on this album than ever before. Pretty much all of their songs are concept songs and they come with relevant and related material. The hooks have matured as well.
I love the two other albums very much, but in my unpopular opinion, this is the superior album. Cop it.
Must say I was anticipating the release of this album and was really disappointed once I finally got my hands on it. Not sure if the absense of 9th wonder had an impact on the creative process but overall this release is weak compared to the Minstrel Show (which many consider a classic, myself included). Even the tracks produced by 9th are wack, only stand out track in my opinion is "Good Clothes." Otherwise the rest of the album is forgetable and NOT on par with the previous Little Brother material.