Friday, September 21, 2012

"G.O.O.D. Music - Cruel Summer" Review by Dom

Kanye West, he is one of the most recognizable faces in the word right now but what some seem to forget is that he is quite possibly the most important figure in modern hip hop. It seems like every album he drops becomes an instant classic and sets the standard for hip hop albums released that year. While this is a G.O.O.D. music compilation it feels like a Kanye album. Why? He's on 7 of the 12 tracks and while that doesn't seem like a lot, each track he's on is centered around him and he owns the track. Is this an instant classic or does it fall short?

1. To the World (performed by Kanye West and R. Kelly) - This track sets the album up pretty good, because this song isn't that great. It's a very generic hip hop/R&B track and R. Kelly doesn't sound that great and the chorus is more annoying than catchy.

2. Clique (performed by Kanye West, Jay-Z and Big Sean) - Is it really fair to put Big Sean on a track with Ye and Jay? That was rhetorical but the answer is no. This song actually sounds like it could've been on Watch the Throne, it's pretty good.

3. Mercy (performed by Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz)- This track dropped a while ago, and for me, it lost what it had. I enjoy Big Sean's verse cause it's funny but overall it's a lackluster track that falls short of being memorable.

4. New God Flow (performed by (Kanye West, Pusha T and Ghostface Killah) - I surprisingly like this song a lot, which is weird because I'm not huge fan of Pusha T but the chorus is good, every MC performs a good verse and the feature of Ghostface was refreshing.

5. The Morning (performed by Raekwon, Pusha T, Common, 2 Chainz, Cyhi the Prynce, Kid Cudi and D'banj) - This was the first song on this album to really blow me away, Raekwon tore it up, Common owned, Pusha, 2 Chainz, Cyhi and D'banj all did their thing spectacularly well. This track has a lot of artists on yet it seems very well put together and focused.

6. Cold (performed by Kanye West and DJ Khaled) - Why does Khaled get a featured credit for this? This track has been out the longest of any on this album and you can see why, it's Kanye doing his thing and going hard and it sounds so good.

7. Higher (performed by The-Dream, Pusha T, Mase and Cocaine 80s)- I don't have much to say about this track, it's generic, it sounds good sonically but it doesn't do much for me, it's just kind of there.

8. Sin City (performed by John Legend, Travis Scott, Teyana Taylor, Cyhi the Prynce and Malik Yusef)- I was so excited to hear John Legend on some more hip hop style tracks. Teyana Taylor blew me away on this track, her voice is amazing, this track is a definite stand out.

9. The One (performed by Kanye West, Big Sean, 2 Chainz and Marsha Ambrosius) - This track, like "Higher" doesn't do much for me, Ye sounds great as always but the rest of the track just falls flat, it's not terrible, but it's not too good.

10. Creepers (performed by Kid Cudi) - Cudi is so under utilized in this project, his voice works so well as a hook and he's a good MC, so I'm glad he has a stand alone track on this. What can I say? If you like Cudi you'll like this, if not, this probably won't convert you. Although he does do a bit more singing than we're used to, but I love it.

11. Bliss (performed by John Legend and Teyana Taylor) - The two strongest singing voices on this album get together to collaborate on a smooth and sweet R&B love song. It's so good, the song is stunningly beautiful.

12. Don't Like (performed by Kanye West, Chief Keef, Pusha T, Big Sean and Jadakiss) - This track closes out the album in great fashion, Ye's verse is fantastic and everyone does their thing so well on this track, they all brought their A game for this one.

Overall: The hip hop world is used to anything that Ye touches being fantastic, and I do agree with that. Though I think it's time for him to go back to solo albums, Watch the Throne was disappointing, including Jay-Z on that one. Cruel Summer is going under the "Should've Been Better" category for me. I realize Ye was going for a more commercial album but only using Common once is a sin and not using Mos Def at all is equally as offensive. All I would've liked was for maybe 2-3 bonus tracks with some less commercial sounding songs but we didn't but I can't fault the album for that. I don't think I'll be returning to this album too much. Teyana Taylor, John Legend, Common and Kanye all have albums in progress right now so I'm sure that G.O.O.D. Music will redeem themselves from this disappointment.

Rating: 6/10

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