Review Summary: Yeah, I'm feeling I'm a goner
There is a scene in the 1997 animated film End of Evangelion wherein the main protagonist, Shinji Ikari, is forced to watch (and, by extension, the audience, too) the apocalypse play out right in front of his eyes, in all of its f*cked-up, insane glory. There are visual references to biblical imagery (including the Holy Stigmata, the Tree of Life), an astronomical tit monster that looks oddly similar to Shinji’s comrade and friend, and mass-production model robots that spit out faces and impale themselves with huge spears. In space. There are also hand vaginas, forehead vaginas, and the very pleasant sound of the entirety of all humankind collectively turning into orange juice; this is all played over a major-key piano ballad with lyrics about suicide and depression.
Weird? That's normal in comparison to the absolute insanity that awaits you in Speedin' Bullet to Heaven. It’s difficult to describe just how utterly strange this album is. Kid Cudi is, first and foremost, a rapper; he’s considered to be pretty damn good at his craft, too. He then proceeds to ditch the hip-hop sound and swap it out for raw-sounding alternative rock, grunge, punk… with a hint of indie thrown in for good measure. Simply put, Bullet does not exist in the same world as its predecessors, which wouldn’t be such a problem if the music was vital and engaging. Instead, we get 91 minutes (yeah, you read that right) of Kid Cudi spazzing out.
The album begins with “Edge of the Earth / Post Mortem Breakdown” with the pleasant sound of a river and processed old man vocals and - what the f*ck did I just type? “River and Processed Old Man Vocals”, yeah, that’s what I thought I f*cking said. The song features a really repetitive guitar riff over some truly terrible-sounding vocals. Did he record with a microphone or a log of sh*t? The world may never know, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the latter, because if you open your album with a river and processed old man vocals, sky’s the limit. “Fade 2 Red” is some kind of alt punk song with a midsection of Kid Cudi yodeling into the aforementioned sh*tlog microphone; if everything else I’ve written hasn’t sent you spiraling into depression, then “Kid Cudi sh*tlog yodeling” ought to do it. “Angered Kids” is like a drunken karaoke session to a song everybody hates. “Man In The Night” has a pretty kickass, Faith No More-esque introduction, but it’s immediately ruined by Kid Cudi’s stilted, misbegotten howling of lyrics like: “Ya she’s great for some fun, ya she’s dope for my head, oh she’s good for me ya, I’m in love with the night”
. Then there’s “Confused.”
“I might go losin’ it and drive off a cliff"
Fall in the void
And if I blow my brains out all over the scene
[…] I’m out of ideas”
Damn right you are, Cudi. This album isn’t even ironically good, nor is it good from a meta perspective; it’s just plain awful. The album is indifferent and sloppy from start to finish, and it tries to bury its indifference and sloppiness by slapping on a veneer of pretentiousness and a “2deep4u” hipster attitude. I’m sure the album was meant to be soulful and depressing, given the incredibly depressing lyrics in songs like “Red Sabbath”, “Séance Chaos” or “Judgmental C***”, but the incredibly wretched production and abysmal songwriting just make it laughable. You have to be a special kind of talentless to make something like this
, and somehow Kid Cudi managed to hit that sweet spot of sh*tiness and sloppiness. This is pure, undiluted psychological torture from start to finish – it is exactly as unpleasant and uncomfortable as it sounds. If there’s an upshot to all of this, it’s that one day the world will end and there will be nobody left to remember this musical cumstain, because we’ll all be dead, which is a far more preferable fate than having to live in a world amongst a species capable of producing something like Speedin' Bullet to Heaven