GOOD Music
Cruel Summer


3.0
good

Review

by Seth Barry-Hinton USER (18 Reviews)
September 19th, 2012 | 60 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A brilliant example of a mixed bag.

Taking into consideration that nearly half of this album was already available to the general public by the time of the actual album's leak (ahem...release), there are few that probably haven't already come to their own conclusions about Cruel Summer. Simply putting it, it's an enjoyable album, that contains some brilliant beats, verses, and features, but also contains some that are less than wondrous.

Look no further for missteps than the album's opener, "To the World", an otherwise enjoyable song with some good vocals from R. Kelly...for almost half the song. It's too long to be a proper intro track and it's too short to be fully fleshed out. Kanye's verse is significantly lazy, cracking one of his lines about *** that stopped being clever shortly after he started using them (especially considering that with R. Kelly's presence, he had the perfect opportunity to drop one about urine - zinger!). The mistakes on the album vary by song - "To the World" is overly long and places too much emphasis on Kelly, "Sin City" has an inability to hold much interest other than Malik Yusef's spoken word, and "The One" has a pretty dull beat. The album's big failing, though, is in features, and the lyrics of said features.

Some features are just disappointing - it's been far too long since Jay-Z spat something that was above average - and some are just facepalm-inducing. There is too much Big Sean ("Bang bang, riding for my niggas and that's for life/High class, I'm just surrounded by these low-lifes"), 2 Chainz ("When my nigga went to jail, I said Free Gucci/I done bought so much ***, I should get free Gucci") and CyHi da Prynce ("She rode the broom on the beach, that's a sandwich"). And there's too little Common, Raekwon, Ghostface, or Cudi, and no appearances of other, more worthy G.O.O.D. Music artists like Q-Tip or Mos Def. Luckily, those four's few and far between appearances can practically save the album from the pit of mediocrity, with help from Ye and Pusha T, who probably have the most appearances. The former is still stuck in his Watch the Throne mindset of braggadocio over anything of import. His verses are still quality, but they no longer carry the same weight that they once did. The latter, even when his bars aren't brilliant (there was no reason to rhyme "everything else" with itself three times in a row on "New God Flow"), does a great job of still making them sound good (and when his bars are brilliant...you best look out).

Also, how did DJ Khaled get a feature for just saying the words "Kanye West, Swag King Cole, DJ Khaled"?

The beats are quite good overall, though. "Mercy", "I Don't Like (Remix)", and "New God Flow", in particular, are bombastic, dark, and smooth. Hit-Boy's "Higher" and "Cold" could also be called album highlights. On the other hand, "Sin City" and "The One" manage to be astoundingly slow and dull in comparison. No need for everything to be a banger, but at least hold the interest of the listener. But on Cruel Summer, there are plenty of fantastic sounds - strings, dark synths, heavy bass - to do just that. Musically, the album is done well.

As an album with at least twenty people featuring on it, Cruel Summer was bound to be eclectic. But its so varied in quality - primarily due to the lyrics and features of the album, the production is good almost all across the board - that it's not an album you can listen to in full without skipping through a few songs. Still, those songs that are really enjoyable ("NGF", "Clique", "I Don't Like", "Bliss") help redeem the album.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Inveigh
September 18th 2012


24963 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yep, i'm pretty much with you on this record


good review, but you need to fix the quotation/apostrophe thing. Maybe just take the quotes out? or rephrase the entire thing, idk

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
September 18th 2012


31162 Comments


Hey look, a tracklist now!

Digging: LV and Joshua Idehen - Islands

JazzHands333
September 18th 2012


312 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah, it looked fine when I was typing it up, but it's really irritating now that it's published. I'll get on that.

suppatime
September 18th 2012


440 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

The production on "I Don't Like" is so boring and typical

Edit: and everything else on that track

LifeAsAChipmunk
September 18th 2012


4854 Comments


sweet it'll probably be a 3 or 3.5

Outnumbered
September 18th 2012


370 Comments


I agree with you.

I feel like this album was made more the showcase the younger talents of GOOD.

LifeAsAChipmunk
September 18th 2012


4854 Comments


"I feel like this album was made more the showcase the younger talents of GOOD."

Most of the older fellas probably shouldn't have been here in the first place.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
September 18th 2012


23819 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

this was such a disappointment but i knew it would be so it wasn't disappointing at all, namsayin?

jrm96
September 18th 2012


2431 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Arent 2 chainz and pusha t like 35

LifeAsAChipmunk
September 18th 2012


4854 Comments


yep exactly my thoughts

jrm96
September 18th 2012


2431 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

2 chainz sucks

ibringyoufire
September 18th 2012


357 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

2 chainz was probably the worst part of this album. Dat production, tho.

Digging: Cayetana - Nervous Like Me

GringoSuave89
September 18th 2012


1035 Comments


2 Chainz is terrible. No Mos Def or Q-Tip is also a tragedy. Still on the fence between 2.5 and 3

Digging: xSPONGEXCOREx - How Tough Are Yah?

Calculate
September 18th 2012


1135 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

james fauntleroy is the star of this album

TheJunkhead
September 18th 2012


42 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really enjoy most of the singles I've heard. They're just much more radio friendly than Kanye's earlier work, atleast he pulls it off well.

1MicLight
September 19th 2012


80 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The remaster makes this album sound so much better

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
September 19th 2012


31162 Comments


What remaster? You mean the finished product versus the leaked one?

Calculate
September 19th 2012


1135 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

na, physical and (the new) digital are mastered differently or something like that

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
September 19th 2012


31162 Comments


Weird

Sleaper
September 19th 2012


3370 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

chief keef and cudi save this thing from seriously sucking.

A SnITCH NIGGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA THATS THA SHIT I DONT LIKE

2 Chainz is terrible [2]

2 chainz is so lol compared to the rest of new comer rappers.
the guy is sooooooooooo bad


Digging: Mick Jenkins - The Water[s]



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