Less than a year after his Gold-selling, Grammy-winning “Finding Forever” album, Chicago MC Common is back with a new single and a new sound.

“Universal Mind Control” is very obviously a Neptunes production, and finds Common and Pharrell Williams on the club tip, a sound quite atypical from the normally righteous and soulful Common.

That said, it’s not a bad look. While it’s not at the level of, say…anything from 2005’s “Be” (his best album to date and a modern classic), it’s better than most of the songs from “Forever”, which was essentially a low-grade Xerox copy of “Be” and found the normally dexterous emcee writing and reciting some of the worst lyrics of his career. With most artists, I’d call this a shameless grab for a hit, but Common and The Neptunes have worked together several times before (when Common was significantly less well-known), and…well, you’ve gotta love any song that pays lovable homage to “Planet Rock”, right?