Eardrum (album)

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Studio album by Talib Kweli
Released August 21, 2007
Recorded 2006-2007
Genre Alternative hip hop
Label Blacksmith Music, Warner Bros. Records
Producer Hi-Tek, Kanye West, Battlecat, Chad Beatz, Terrace Martin, Kwamé, DJ Khalil, Madlib, will.i.am, Pete Rock, Just Blaze, A Kid Called Roots, Sha-La Shakier, Nick Speed, Swiff D
Talib Kweli chronology
The Beautiful Struggle
(2004)The Beautiful Struggle2004
Revolutions per Minute
(2010)Revolutions per Minute2010

Eardrum is the third studio album by American hip hop artist Talib Kweli. The album was released on August 21, 2007, by Blacksmith Records and Warner Bros. Records. The album features guest appearances from Res, Jean Grae, UGK, Raheem DeVaughn, Roy Ayers, Kanye West, Norah Jones, Coi Mattison, Lyfe Jennings, will.i.am, Sa-Ra, KRS-One, Musiq Soulchild, Strong Arm Steady, Sizzla, Justin Timberlake and Marsha Ambrosius.


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (73/100)[1]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[2]
The A.V. Club A−[3]
Entertainment Weekly A[4]
Now 5/5 stars[5]
The Observer 3/5 stars[6]
The Phoenix 3/4 stars[7]
Pitchfork Media (7.4/10)[8]
PopMatters 8/10 stars[9]
RapReviews 9.5/10 stars[10]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[11]

Critical response[edit]

Eardrum scored 73 out of 100 from Metacritic based on "generally favorable reviews".[1] Some than most reviews are average or mixed: Uncut gave it a score of three stars out of five and said, "Kweli, whose wordy rhymes can often read better than they flow, sounds nimble and at ease most of the time."[1] Vibe gave it three stars out of five and said it "lacks cohesiveness."[1] Spin gave it a score of five out of ten and said, "Though Kweli can't change his voice he was born with, he needs to figure out how to make it as compelling as his material."[1] Hot Press gave it an above average review, however, and said, "Kweli's collaborative work has set the bar so high that his solo efforts routinely fail to meet these exalted expectations."[12]

Metacritic, XXL gave it a score of XL (the equivalent of four out of five stars) and said, "Unlike 2004’s The Beautiful Struggle, which clumsily juxtaposed grungy backpack beats with basic mainstream medleys, Eardrum is a more sonically cohesive endeavor. Having more fun with the music and ignoring his critics, Talib wants to proves about sometimes, the only one worth listening to is yourself".[13] HipHopDX gave it four stars out of five and said, "There is still room for improvement, but this largely the album from Kweli that everyone has been waiting for."[14] AllHipHop gave it a score of 8.5 out of 10 and said it "still delivers enough solid work to be worth checking out no matter what your expectations."[15] About.com gave it a score of four-and-a-half stars out of five and said, "While it's questionable as to whether Eardrum can hold up against his previous classics, it is without a doubt that this is most certainly Talib Kweli’s most effective release to date."[16] AbsolutePunk gave it a score of 74% and said, "Though highly inconsistent due to its extraordinary number of songs, Eardrum impresses as a whole, making the early cop out absolutely unneeded. Talib Kweli refuses to disappoint".[17] Los Angeles Times gave it a favorable review and said, "Kweli's commanding delivery and the well-executed songs on his sixth album... consistently provide pointed commentary... and masterful production".[18]

Commercial performance[edit]

Eardrum debuted at number 2 on the US Billboard 200, selling 60,000 copies in its first week, marking it as Kweli's highest-debuting album to date. In its second week, the album fell down to number 20, selling 25,000 copies, in total of 85,500 copies in the United States.[19]

The Perfect Beat[edit]

“The Perfect Beat" on Eardrum featured KRS-One and sampled the song from Bob Marley and the Wailers called, “Do It Twice”, which is a drum beat from Paul Douglas.[20][21]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Everything Man" (featuring Res) Talib Kweli Greene Madlib 3:16
2. "NY Weather Report" Talib Kweli Greene Nick Speed 4:35
3. "Hostile Gospel Pt. 1 (Deliver Us)" Talib Kweli Greene, Justin Smith, Paul Greedus, Didier Marouani Just Blaze 5:22
4. "Say Something" (featuring Jean Grae) Talib Kweli Greene will.i.am 3:43
5. "Country Cousins" (featuring UGK & Raheem DeVaughn) Talib Kweli Greene A Kid Called Roots, Sha-La Shakier 4:31
6. "Holy Moly" Talib Kweli Greene Pete Rock 2:08
7. "Eat to Live" Talib Kweli Greene Madlib 3:07
8. "In the Mood" (featuring Roy Ayers & Kanye West) Talib Kweli Greene, Kanye West, Brian Potter Kanye West 3:55
9. "Soon the New Day" (featuring Norah Jones) Talib Kweli Greene, Otis Jackson Jr., Paul Charles, John Mason Madlib, Eric Krasno 4:02
10. "Give 'Em Hell" (featuring Coi Mattison & Lyfe Jennings) Talib Kweli Greene, Terrace Martin, Kevin Gilliam, Coi Mattison, Chester Jennings, Al Green Terrace Martin, Battlecat 4:27
11. "More or Less" (featuring Dion) Talib Kweli Greene, Tony Cottrell, Dion Jenkins Hi-Tek 4:40
12. "Stay Around" Talib Kweli Greene, Peter Phillips, Robert Bell, Ronald Bell, George Brown, Cynthia Huggins, Claydes Charles Smith, Dennis Thomas Pete Rock 4:15
13. "Hot Thing" (featuring will.i.am) Talib Kweli Greene, William Adams, Johnny Watson will.i.am 3:48
14. "Space Fruit (Interlude)" (featuring Sa-Ra) Om'Mas Keith, Shafiq Husayn Sa-Ra 1:31
15. "The Perfect Beat" (featuring KRS-One) Talib Kweli Greene, S. Thornton, Leo Parker, Bob Marley Swiff D., Hi-Tek 3:49
16. "Oh My Stars" (featuring Musiq Soulchild) Talib Kweli Greene, Talib Johnson, Khalil Abdul-Rahman, Amani Fela Greene DJ Khalil 3:40
17. "Listen!!!" Talib Kweli Greene, Kwamé Holland, Fred Williams Kwamé 3:28
18. "Go With Us" (featuring Strong Arm Steady) Talib Kweli Greene, Eric Jones, Jason Smith, Marvin Jones, Charles Mitchell E. Jones 3:59
19. "Hostile Gospel Pt. 2 (Deliver Me)" (featuring Sizzla) Talib Kweli Greene, Miguel Collins, Khalil Abdul-Rahman, David Hinds DJ Khalil 4:21
20. "The Nature" (featuring Justin Timberlake) Talib Kweli Greene, Justin Timberlake Eric Krasno, Adam Deitch 5:01

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2007) Peak
US Billboard 200[22] 2
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[23] 2


  1. ^ a b c d e "Critic Reviews for Ear Drum". Metacritic. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  2. ^ Marisa Brown (2007-08-14). "Eardrum - Talib Kweli | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  3. ^ Rabin, Nathan. "Eardrum · Talib Kweli · Music Review · The A.V. Club". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  4. ^ Compton, Josette (2007-08-20). "Eardrum". EW.com. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  5. ^ "TALIB KWELI". NOW. Retrieved October 6, 2015. 
  6. ^ Steve Yates. "CD: Talib Kweli, Ear Drum". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  7. ^ MATTHEW GASTEIER (2007-08-20). "Talib Kweli - CD Reviews". Thephoenix.com. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  8. ^ "Talib Kweli: Eardrum | Album Reviews". Pitchfork. 2007-08-29. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  9. ^  . "Talib Kweli: Ear Drum". PopMatters. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  10. ^ "Feature for August 21, 2007 - Talib Kweli's "Ear Drum"". Rapreviews.com. 2007-08-21. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  11. ^ (Posted: Aug 1, 2007) (2007-08-01). "Talib Kweli: Eardrum : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on October 1, 2007. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  12. ^ Mark Keane. "Ear Drum | Music Review | Album". Hot Press. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  13. ^ "Talib Kweli Ear Drum - XXL". Xxlmag.com. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  14. ^ J-23 (2007-08-22). "Talib Kweli - Ear Drum". HipHopDX. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  15. ^ Alex Thornton Reviews / Music. (2007-08-17). "Hip Hop News, Interviews and Music: Allhiphop.com » Talib Kweli: Ear Drum". Allhiphop.com. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  16. ^ "Talib Kweli - Ear Drum - Preview of Talib Kweli's Ear Drum". Rap.about.com. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  17. ^ Message. "Message". AbsolutePunk.net. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  18. ^ "Record Rack - latimes". Articles.latimes.com. 2007-08-19. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  19. ^ Katie Hasty, "'High School Musical 2' Hangs On Atop Billboard 200", Billboard.com, August 29, 2007.
  20. ^ Moskowitz, David V. "Rebel Music, 1970-1975." The Words and Music of Bob Marley. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2007. 23. Google. Praeger Publishers, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007. Web. <https://books.google.com/books?id=QPZEqZHKq2AC&q=Beverley%27s+All-Stars#v=snippet&q=Beverley's%20All-Stars&f=false>. Retrieved Dec. 4 2016.
  21. ^ Talib Kweli feat. KRS-One, The Perfect Beat. Web. WhoSampled.com. <http://www.whosampled.com/sample/4567/Talib-Kweli-KRS-One-The-Perfect-Beat-Bob-Marley-The-Wailers-Do-It-Twice/> Retrieved Dec. 4 2016.
  22. ^ "Talib Kweli – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Talib Kweli. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  23. ^ "Talib Kweli – Chart history" Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums for Talib Kweli. Retrieved October 23, 2014.

External links[edit]