Skip to main content
Loading...

Kanye West/Kid Cudi - Kids See Ghosts Music Album Reviews

Kanye West/Kid Cudi - Kids See Ghosts Music Album Reviews
The psychic bond between Kanye West and Kid Cudi yields a spacious and melancholy album about brokenness—thoughts are fragmented, relationships are ended, and societal ties are cut.

He just turned 41, and Kanye West still craves nothing more than to make a big mess, plunge into it headfirst, and take us with him. This impulse unites him with his dragon-energy brother in the White House, who similarly revels in just saying it out loud to see how it feels. It must be intoxicating to open your mouth and say whatever occurs to you, knowing you will endure mild censure at worst before reaping your rewards. For Kanye, the rewards are already here: Despite being the least finished-sounding recording of his career, last week’s ye marked some of his biggest first-week returns in years; at one point, its seven tracks doubled as the seven most popular songs on Spotify. Big messes, it turns out, work for guys like him.

So here we are, in week three of the big mess he is currently making. After Pusha-T’s compact and sturdy Daytona and the hobbled and confused ye, we now have Kids See Ghosts, Kanye’s collaborative project with Kid Cudi. Three down, two to go, or so we tell ourselves, like beleaguered parents boarding a series of connecting flights with a small child. West has turned the album cycle into his version of Calvinball, jubilantly inventing rules while the rest of us hop along desperately in his wake.

Flail hard enough and long enough, though, and you will hit some targets. On Kids See Ghosts, the mess at least feels more purposeful, and the songs are the most intriguing ones to emerge from this Wyoming project thus far. Since 2013’s Yeezus, West has been testing the line between “daringly raw” and “unfinished,” but on Kids See Ghosts, he vigorously erases it. G.O.O.D. Music label boss Pusha-T assures us “the details is ironed out” on the album opener “Feel the Love,” a particularly poignant promise considering the track itself was delivered to all streaming partners mislabeled. It is an eerie arena in which to watch an Event Album unfold, one where the silences resound as deafeningly as the screams, where the props are missing or moved into place a beat too late.

A lot of the energy that ye seemed to be gasping for fills the lungs of this project, and it’s humbling to consider how much this material might have enlivened West’s own album. They aspire to the same frayed edge: cut-off stumps of song bits bleeding into the next. “You should quit your job to this,” West shouts on “Freeee (Ghost Town Pt. 2),” a continuation of “Ghost Town,” the emotional peak of ye. As he does on the original, he equates total numbness as freedom, and as a buzzing cello pecks at its tendons and the distorted drums smash into bone, you are left to contemplate the scary sort of freedom West prizes. It is the freedom of mania, of letting your mind gallop off its leash in as many directions at once. For anyone with personal experience with mania, there will be a pang of recognition in this exhilaration, as well as the understanding of how quickly the sensation curdles into another dead end.

The most powerful moments on Kids See Ghosts underline this freedom with a wistful bite, suggesting it comes with a lasting price. This is an album about brokenness—thoughts fragmented, relationships ended, societal ties cut. “Reborn” is the most unhurried and atmospheric music of this chaotic cycle, a long spacious breath of a drum track that opens onto one of West’s best verses in years. In it, he offers something close to a full explanation for his recent behavior: “What an awesome thing, engulfed in shame/I want all the pain/I want all the smoke/I want all the blame.” There is an emotional honesty, at least, to the admission that he is nakedly grasping for whatever oxygen the public will give him, no matter the contaminants he takes in along the way.

Hovering uneasily over the project, as it has over this entire Yeezy Season, is the specter of mental health. On the one hand, West has shown bravery in talking about his apparent bipolar diagnosis. But there is also danger, and potential stigmatization, in equating Kanye’s celebrity lawlessness—available only to him and those in his orbit—with mental health. Most people, after all, whatever their private struggles, don’t have the resources to stage their free falls into the arms of an entire industry built to placate them. Mental health, its effects on you, on those who love you: This is not a topic to be touched on lightly, and apart from scrawling his diagnosis on the cover of ye, there is a very real sense that he is simply bringing up these issues, not probing them.

One of the revelations of Kids See Ghosts is how Cudi emerges as a better angel, a concerned but empathic friend who provides emotional ballast. Cudi, of course, has a few years on West in acknowledging his struggles with mental health. “Keep moving forward,” Cudi sings gently on “Reborn,” adding, “peace is something that starts with me.” His presence feels calming, cooling. The two men have always been better together than apart, lending depth and weight to each other's on-record presences. Cudi’s presence girds West's wild energy with a melancholy that adds some highlight and shadow to the weightless cartoon West has offered us. Cudi’s always struggled with being two-dimensional on his own records, but here he brings a soul and depth that his mentor can't muster.

“Cudi Montage” even relocates a precious, nearly vanished quantity of Kanye’s music—empathy. The song samples Kurt Cobain’s “Burn the Rain,” a home-recorded scrap that was unearthed to soundtrack the 2015 documentary Montage of Heck. The movie was uneasy viewing, splitting the line between revelation and violation, and the music that wallpapered it felt intensely private, doodles that were meant for one mind, not the world. It is an oddly appropriate source for Kanye, a combination of ingenuity and bad taste that suits the man who sampled “Strange Fruit” so he could moan about child support.

In his verse, Kanye revisits the wages of cyclical violence—“Everybody want world peace until your niece gets shot in dome piece.” The images are well-worn, down to their grim details (“auntie crying on the concrete”), but it is one of West’s most sustained efforts to imagine someone else’s life since he gave us the “Public visitation, we met at Borders” scenario in “All of the Lights.” The verse concludes with a namecheck of Alice Johnson, the African-American woman whom President Trump pardoned on Kim Kardashian’s urging, just last week. Like everything else in this wildly unstable political moment, the pardon (and its mention in song) slides across a tilted stage filled with compromised actors. What remains solid is the song itself, which opens into a simple plea after the verse fades: “Lord shine your light on me; save me please.” For the first time in years, Kanye sounds at peace. Here he is, again, where he has always yearned to be: damned, on the brink of irredeemable, gazing directly into some abyss from which he could never climb out.

View the original article here

Comments

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Loading...

Popular posts from this blog

2019 BMW i8 Review

The 2019 BMW i8 is a head-turner for its looks, which hides its plug-in powertrain. That’s good or bad, depending on your priorities.Even among six-figure cars with two doors, the 2019 BMW i8 steals stares. That could be because of the dramatic wing doors and futuristic shape, its laser headlights at night, or the 2019 i8’s silent propulsion for up to 18 miles.
Or it may steal attention because, even after more than four years on sale, it’s a very rare sight.

LG G5 Review In-Depth

Can LG take on the Galaxy S7 with a metal design, dual-cameras and an accessory slot? Here's our first LG G5 review, focusing on LG G5 design and build, LG G5 specs, LG G5 cameras and LG G5 software and apps.
Alongside the Galaxy S7, the LG G5 is one of the biggest phones (not literally) to launch in 2016 – and we're not just talking in the Android world. It's one of the heavyweights and LG will be looking to set the market alight with the G5's alternative and innovative modular design.

BlackBerry KEYone Review

BlackBerry soliders on with a curious Android device that gets nearly everything right. It’s not for everyone though, in fact, it’s not really for anyone. But if you want a physical keyboard you will absolutely love it.
Should I Buy The BlackBerry KEYone?
But then, the KEYone is the best BlackBerry phone for years. It has (finally) successfully melded classic BlackBerry design with the necessary mix of Android and nostalgia. Importantly, the latter is only faint this time – this is a device for 2017, not 2007.If you love your iPhone or Samsung, you’ll hate the KEYone and won’t even consider buying it. But if you’ve made it to the end of this review, chances are you’re weighing up a buy. If you think you’ll love the BlackBerry KEYone, then I’m pretty certain you won’t be disappointed. You’re part of a minority, but finally BlackBerry has a phone for you that doesn’t force you to compromise.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Review: Xiaomi Meets Android One

Users outside China and India aren't especially familiar with MIUI, but when you combine Xiaomi hardware with Android One the results are quite something. Check out our Mi A2 review for full details on this impressive budget smartphone.
Should I Buy The Xiaomi Mi A2?
The inclusion of Android One makes Xiaomi phones so much more easily accessible to UK- and US users - and that's a very good thing, finally allowing those outside its main market territories a taste of what else is out there. The Mi A2 merely whets our appetite for what's coming our way when Xiaomi officially launches in the UK on 8 November.A fantastic budget phone, the Mi A2 is just £199 and easily obtainable from Amazon. It combines decent build quality with a nice display, good all-round performance and a well-specced trio of cameras. It out-specs and out-performs every other phone in our budget smartphone chart.

Apple iPhone XR Review

If you aren't sure you are ready to leave the Home button behind and embrace Face ID, think again. We'll tell you why the iPhone XR is worth the sacrifice - especially because it's just as good (if not better than) the iPhone XS. Find out more in out full review.
Should I Buy The Apple iPhone XR?
The iPhone XR brings Face ID to the masses. We’re sure people will continue to rebel against the lack of Home button, but eventually we expect them to come round and embrace the larger screen, Portrait mode (front and back), animoji and memoji.We have no doubt that this will be a popular iPhone and it deserves to be. The only question is why would anyone buy an iPhone XS when the iPhone XR is just as powerful and has a bigger screen.

Like Fan Page