Review Summary: Three from three.
is the hardcore older brother, and Ye
is the soulful older sister, Kids See Ghosts
is the younger sibling striving to make himself heard in a family who’s forgotten him. Kid Cudi has had a rough ride these last few years, never quite living up to the bar he set with Man on the Moon
. His public meltdown following the release of the atrocious Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven
felt like a given, as sad as it was. As a result, his team-up with Kanye is his first real
work post-meltdown. And with two fantastic albums already under his belt in the past two weeks, Kanye presents a beautiful journey into the unknown, floating upside down along a river as the world passes by as Cudi croons as you float away.
And it feels damn-near perfect.
At this point, no one expected Kids See Ghosts
to sound anything like its ‘predecessors’, but if anyone expected this, they’re straight lying. Instrumentally diverse and vocally intensive, it’s dip between heavy beats and soulful hums proves an amazing listen. Though Cudi has never been the best vocalist, his lower register proves the perfect backdrop for Kanye’s production, with the self-titled track and ‘Cudi Montage’ both sporting both a Kanye and Cudi verse perfectly placed between a driving beat. Further along, the soulful ‘Freeee (Ghost Town Pt. 2)’ picks up where ‘Ghost Town’ left off, pushing forward with a thick guitar line as both artists convey how they feel, well, freeeeeeeee
. It does tend to drag on a little too long, but follow-up ‘Feel The Love’ more than makes up for it as Cudi gets introspective; I had my issues/Ain’t that much I could do/Peace is something that starts with me
; all the while a drum-piano combo drives the track, intertwining with Cudi’s flat but appropriate croons.
Elsewhere, ‘Fire’ causes a doubletake; a dark, minimalist beat that allows Kanye to flow brilliantly; Always thought you’d make it but damn now you hella known/Let’s address some topics that I can’t embellish on
. The moments where Kanye take control are sparse, but always fantastic, and his presence in the production is duly noted, particularly on closer ‘Reborn’. Acoustically led and starting slow before exploding with colour midway through the song, Kanye and Cudi work in tandem to create a beautiful closer the encapsulates what makes Kids See Ghosts
so enticing; one huge name allowing another to redeem himself.
And that’s why it feels so fulfilling; Kids See Ghosts
is a strikingly different approach to a sound both artists have toyed with in the past, resulting in a listen that explodes with environments filled to the brim with open fields and cold emptiness that co-exist. Though Cudi can begin to grate, his flat vocal delivery melds perfectly into the stellar production Kanye has developed over his previous two projects, even seeing Cudi delve back into his trademark rap tone. As a result, Kids See Ghost
is a fulfilling project that mixes a redemption arc with an album streak that can’t seem to be broken.
Three from three.
Recommended Tracks: Kids See Ghosts, Feel The Love, Fire, Reborn