Kid Cudi
Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’


4.0
excellent

Review

by Rowan5215 STAFF
December 26th, 2016 | 105 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: sew these wounds myself

Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin' was recorded before Cudi's public meltdown and rehabilitation, but released after. This gives it a slightly surreal feeling, like it was recorded in a dream state; it also means that it's essentially impossible to divorce the music on the album from the context of its release. It may not be Man on the Moon III, but it's probably even better than that album would have been. PP&DS sees Cudi back on earth, still staring up at the stars with the rest of us.

While this is his most poignant work since that superb third act of Man On The Moon II, it's not the same Kid Cudi we knew then. There isn't any channeling of his demons/addiction into a separate persona, the eponymous Mr. Rager; in 2016 Cudi is all too ready to acknowledge that the demon is himself. This isn't a return to the sound of those albums either: the glitzy beauty of The End of Day and drugged-out haze of The Legend of Mr. Rager are upgraded to a spacey neon nightmare that has stronger ties to Pink Floyd and Portishead than anything hip-hop. PP&DS isn't an apology for Speedin' Bullet 2 Heaven, and nor should it be – any artist who has to apologise for a terrible piece of work has lost the right to make any work, good or bad – but it's an acceptance, a regaining of equilibrium. More than anything, it's a fuck you to everything that's dragging Scott Mescudi down. If his mistakes hadn't been so public, if his meltdown and rehabilitation so brutally available for the world to watch, would lines like "I did everything right, didn't I/so why aren't I whole?" be so affecting? Probably not. Are they gorgeous lines nonetheless? Yes. And after all, that's the point. There's arguably no-one more open and transparent in the scene than Cudi, even when that openness has dug up family deaths, deep insecurities and grave mental illnesses, far beyond the point when most people would have shut themselves off. PP&DS is self-indulgent, silly, messy and heartfelt. It's Cudi at top songwriting form, and the songs on it are arguably the best he's ever written, but the only thing I really give a fuck about in the end is that it makes me feel something.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
December 26th 2016


45428 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

tl;dr i cri to this

Digging: Adjy - The Idyll Opus (I-VI)

VaxXi
December 26th 2016


4418 Comments


edit: nevermind, you fixed it

Nice review, it says just enough to make me consider even approaching a new Cudi album.

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
December 26th 2016


45428 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

yeah just saw that cheers



check By Design first, one of the songs of the year

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
December 26th 2016


19429 Comments


uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Conmaniac
December 26th 2016


26414 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

hmm review is well written but for such a long album I feel like it would've been good to go into the different types of songs on here and just the music in general.

Presence
December 26th 2016


92 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

YOU CAN TRY AND NUMB THE PAIN BUT IT WILL NEVER GOOO-OOOO-OOOO-OOOOO-OOOOOOO AWAY

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
December 26th 2016


45428 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

I SEE EVERYTHING WITH NEW BEAMS I DO DREAM

TVC15
December 26th 2016


10856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Oh hell yeah. I honestly put this on par with the first Man on the Moon album, Cudi really captured something special on this like he did on the first one

Conmaniac
December 26th 2016


26414 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

if this was 8 songs shorter I'd say maybe

Conmaniac
December 26th 2016


26414 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

ok relistening to this I might bump to a 3 but there's some really bad moments on here. like the beat in Releaser is 10/10 but Cudi's deep moans that come in necessarily never fail to make me laugh

then the lyrics oh my god. when he starts whispering its like what are you doing dude then he tries speaking French that is literally grammatically incorrect and roughly translates to "I like you because you are funny, are you black?" like jesus Cudi. the first three tracks do nothing for me although I will admit Swim in the Light is growing on me a bit

Conmaniac
December 26th 2016


26414 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

By Design, Rose Golden, Does It, Distant Fantasies, The Guide, and The Commander are all fucking amazing but uncoincidentally 4/6 of them have features. Cudi's lone songs range from great to garbage reminiscent of SB2H but with better production

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
December 26th 2016


45428 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

agreed TVC, best behind Moon Man 1 in his discog for sure



Con first five songs on this are one of the best runs of the year for me personally, Releaser is all about the vibes, if he was hardcore rapping over that bit it would sound disingenuous to me



the only songs I would cut are Distant Fantasies and Mature Nature

Conmaniac
December 26th 2016


26414 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I don't care if he's rapping or not. I get what he's trying to do but his vocal performance is pretty bad and the lyrics on Releaser are absolute garbage

also Distant Fantasies is the closest thing to MOTM...kinda sounds like a fully fleshed out version of We Aite...

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
December 26th 2016


45428 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

yeah but he's not that good at rapping now and this album doesn't really need it tbh

Conmaniac
December 26th 2016


26414 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

on my third listen though I'm def bumping to a 3. this was a pleasant surprise from a rapper that used to be my favorite artist of all time. It was painful to watch him crash and burn but I'm glad he's actually somewhat back on track

TVC15
December 26th 2016


10856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I don't necessarily mind the lyrics as much as I should because of how much I feel the emotion and passion on his performance on the album

Conmaniac
December 26th 2016


26414 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Rowan my issues with this album aren't that he doesn't rap like I never said that anywhere. He can have great vocal performances actually, like the hook on Does It is straight fire but when he gets too moany like on Releaser or repetitive on Dance 4 Eternity it just turns me off even if the instrumentals vibe hard.

Conmaniac
December 26th 2016


26414 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

iLLusions is just weird like he needs to stop taking so many psychedelics. really glad he's in rehab after hearing some songs on here

Conmaniac
December 26th 2016


26414 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

but honestly who the fuck thought Willow Smith/Cudi would be a crazy good combo

also those stringsss mmmmmmmmmmmmm fuck man production helps this album out a tonnnn

TVC15
December 26th 2016


10856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I really didn't mind Willow on that track. When I first listened to this album I was absolutely dreading getting to that track but she doesn't do anything like awful on it, her prescence adds a lot to the song and makes the hooks that much more memorable



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