Train of Thought (Reflection Eternal album)

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Train of Thought
Studio album by Reflection Eternal
Released October 17, 2000
Recorded 1999-2000
Electric Lady Studios
(New York, New York)
Genre Hip hop, neo soul
Length 65:73
Label Rawkus/UMVD
Producer Hi-Tek, Weldon Irvine, Talib Kweli
Reflection Eternal chronology
Train of Thought
(2000)
Revolutions per Minute
(2010)
Talib Kweli chronology
Black Star
(1998)
Train of Thought
(2000)
Quality
(2002)
Hi-Tek chronology
Train of Thought
(2000)
Hi-Teknology
(2001)
Singles from Train of Thought
  1. "Move Somethin'"
    Released: July 18, 2000
  2. "The Blast"
    Released: July 16, 2001
  3. "Down for the Count"
    Released: 2001 (UK only)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Boston Herald 3/4 stars[2]
Chicago Sun-Times 3.5/4 stars[3]
Robert Christgau (2-star Honorable Mention)[4]
Entertainment Weekly B−[5]
Pitchfork Media (7.9/10)[6]
PopMatters (favorable)[7]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[8]
The Source 4/5 stars[9]
Vibe 3/5 stars[10]

Train of Thought is the debut album of American hip hop duo Reflection Eternal, released October 17, 2000 on Rawkus Records. Collaborating as a duo, rapper Talib Kweli and DJ and hip hop producer Hi-Tek recorded the album during 1999 to 2000, following their individual musical work that gained notice in New York's underground scene during the late 1990s.[1][10] Kweli had previously worked with rapper Mos Def as the duo Black Star,[11] and Hi-Tek had served as producer on the duo's debut album.[12]

Produced primarily by Hi-Tek, the album is characterized by dynamic, high-tempo tracks and a Soulquarians-type neo soul sound.[10] It showcases Kweli's rapping and features themes of revolutionary mentality, love, the state of hip hop, and modern African-American culture.[13] Upon its release, Train of Thought achieved moderate sales success and received generally positive reviews from most music critics.

Reception[edit]

Chicago Sun-Times writer Kyla Kyles gave the album 3½ out of 4 stars, stating "With a flurry of metaphors and below-the-basement underground beats, this train is on the right track. This disc proves that Kweli is a deep-thinking, gifted MC, and Hi Tek is an emerging wax master."[3] Allmusic's Matt Conaway gave it 4½ out of 5 stars and compared Reflection Eternal's music to the work of the Native Tongues collective, while writing that the album "houses enough merit to establish Talib as one of this generation's most poetic MCs".[1] PopMatters writer Dave Heaton gave Train of Thought a favorable review and described Talib Kweli as "a hyper-articulate MC with a revolutionary's mind and a sensitive poet's heart, but he's also a world-class battle MC, able to rip other MCs' rhymes apart in a quick second".[7] Rolling Stone magazine gave the album 3.5 stars and called it "the rare socially aware hip-hop record that can get fists pumping in a rowdy nightclub".[14]

Despite giving the album a rating of 7.9/10, Pitchfork Media critic Sam Eccleston expressed a mixed response towards Kweli's boastful lyrics, stating "Kweli uses the rhythm as a foundation, building rambling, baroque rhyme structures on top of them, exhibiting his cock-eyed 'skills'. This kind of braggadocio doesn't weaken the effort in the same way his moralizing self-canonization does, if only because he can often back those claims up".[6] Vibe magazine gave it 3 out of 5 stars and shared a similar sentiment, writing "Reflection Eternal '​s great weakness is Kweli's excessive preaching about the state of hip hop, but at least he cares".[10] A retrospective Rolling Stone review gives the album 4 out of 5 stars and calls it "thick with fierce street raps ('Down for the Count' and 'Ghetto Afterlife'), maudlin soul ('Love Language'), and the type of insightful versifying Kweli has made his stock-in-trade ('Memories Live' and 'This Means You')".[8]

Track listing[edit]

# Title Songwriters Producer(s) Performer (s)
1 "Experience Dedication" Tony Cottrell, Talib Kweli Greene Hi-Tek Dave Chappelle, Talib Kweli
2 "Move Somethin'" Tony Cottrell, Talib Kweli Greene Hi-Tek Talib Kweli
Nonye (background)
3 "Some Kind of Wonderful" Tony Cottrell, Talib Kweli Greene Hi-Tek Talib Kweli
4 "The Blast" Tony Cottrell, Talib Kweli Greene Hi-Tek Hi-Tek, Talib Kweli, Vinia Mojica
5 "This Means You" Tony Cottrell, Talib Kweli Greene, Dante Smith Hi-Tek Mos Def, Talib Kweli
6 "Too Late" Tony Cottrell, Talib Kweli Greene Hi-Tek Res, Talib Kweli
7 "Memories Live" Tony Cottrell, Talib Kweli Greene Hi-Tek Talib Kweli
Big Del (background), Donte (background)
8 "Africa Dream" Tony Cottrell, Talib Kweli Greene, Weldon Irvine Talib Kweli, Weldon Irvine, Hi-Tek (co-producer) Talib Kweli
9 "Down for the Count" Tony Cottrell, Talib Kweli Greene, Rashia Fisher, Alvin Joiner Hi-Tek Rah Digga, Talib Kweli, Xzibit
10 "Name of the Game" Tony Cottrell, Talib Kweli Greene Hi-Tek Talib Kweli
11 "Ghetto Afterlife" Tony Cottrell, Talib Kweli Greene, Nathaniel Wilson Hi-Tek Kool G Rap, Talib Kweli
12 "On My Way" Tony Cottrell, E. Isaacs, J. Thomas Hi-Tek Kendra Ross, Tiye Phoenix, Vinia Mojica
13 "Love Language" Tony Cottrell, Talib Kweli Greene, Helene Faussart, Celia Faussart Hi-Tek Les Nubians, Talib Kweli
14 "Love Speakeasy" Tony Cottrell, Talib Kweli Greene Hi-Tek
15 "Soul Rebels" Tony Cottrell, Talib Kweli Greene, Kelvin Mercer, David Jude Jolicoeur, Vincent Mason Hi-Tek Talib Kweli, De La Soul
16 "Eternalists" Tony Cottrell, Talib Kweli Greene Hi-Tek Talib Kweli
17 "Big Del From da Natti" Tony Cottrell, D. Geralds Hi-Tek Big Del
18 "Touch You" Tony Cottrell, Talib Kweli Greene, D. Stanford Jr., Dave West Hi-Tek Dave Chappelle, Piakhan, Supa Dav West, Talib Kweli
19 "Good Mourning" Tony Cottrell, Talib Kweli Greene Hi-Tek Talib Kweli
20a "Expansion Outro"
20b "Four Women" Nina Simone Hi-Tek, Talib Kweli (co-producer) Talib Kweli
Darcel (background), Imani Uzuri (background), Katushia (background), Neb Luv (background), Tiye Phoenix (background), Tiyi Willingham (background), Tracie (background)

Sample credits[edit]

Sample information for Train of Thought adapted from TheBreaks.[15]

Personnel[edit]

Album singles[edit]

Single information
"The Express" (Non-album single)
  • Released: 2000
  • B-side: "Some Kind Of Wonderful"
"Move Somethin'"
  • Released: July 18, 2000
  • B-side: "Good Mourning"
"The Blast"
  • Released: July 16, 2001
  • B-side: "Down for the Count" & "Train of Thought"
"Down for the Count" (UK Only release)
  • Released: 2001
  • B-side: "Down for the Count (Solo Version)"

Chart history[edit]

Album
Year Album Chart positions
Billboard 200 Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums
2000 Reflection Eternal 17 5
Singles
Year Song Chart positions
Billboard Hot 100 Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks Hot Rap Singles
2000 Move Somethin' - 32 1
2001 The Blast - 48 2

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Conaway, Matt. Review: Train of Thought. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2009-12-08.
  2. ^ Coleman, Brian. "Review: Train of Thought". Boston Herald: 63. December 24, 2000. (Transcription of original review at talk page)
  3. ^ a b Kyles, Kyra. "Review: Train of Thought". Chicago Sun-Times: 13. December 31, 2000. Note: Review is wholly incorporated in the reception sec. of the article.
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide: Train of Thought". The Village Voice: February 6, 2001. Archived from the original on 2009-12-08.
  5. ^ Sullivan, James. Review: Train of Thought. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 2009-12-08.
  6. ^ a b Eccleston, Sam. Review: Train of Thought. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved on 2009-12-08.
  7. ^ a b Heaton, Dave. Review: Train of Thought. PopMatters. Retrieved on 2009-12-08.
  8. ^ a b Hoard, Christian. "Review: Train of Thought". Rolling Stone: 472–473. November 2, 2004.
  9. ^ Columnist. "Review: Train of Thought". The Source: 254–256. December 2000.
  10. ^ a b c d Callahan-Bever, Noah. "Review: Train of Thought". Vibe: 206. December 2000.
  11. ^ Benaquist, Steven. Review: Train of Thought. Yahoo! Music. Retrieved on 2009-12-08.
  12. ^ Conaway, Matt. Review: Hi-Teknology. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2009-12-08.
  13. ^ Gest, David. Review: Train of Thought. The Yale Herald. Retrieved on 2009-12-08.
  14. ^ Columnist. "Review: Train of Thought". Rolling Stone: 112. October 26, 2000.
  15. ^ Rap Sample FAQ Search: Reflection Eternal. TheBreaks. Retrieved on 2009-12-08.

References[edit]

  • Nathan Brackett, Christian Hoard (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Completely Revised and Updated 4th Edition. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 

External links[edit]