Review Summary: In love, war, and fried chicken, there is no victor but God.
If familiarity breeds contempt, then it’s no surprise that Christian churches in America have been bleeding adherents in recent years as the mystical and ritualistic have given way the mundane and habitual. With grace, however, the mundane can occasionally guide us back to the transcendental. Kanye West’s magnum opus, Closed on Sunday
, opens with a solemn acoustic guitar line and overlying choral motif. While contemplating his order of a Chick-fil-A classic chicken combo, ‘Ye achieves gnosis, merging the self with the Logos, self-actualizing his mission on earth to spread the word of God.
Kanye asks one of life’s most important questions: in a world where the American high churches are irrelevant and the Catholic church has yielded to modernist heresies, how has one wholesome burger joint successfully resisted the zeitgeist? Chick-fil-A refuses to indulge society’s propensity for carnal sin and resists the greed to remain open and reap profits on the Lord’s day of rest. Inspired by this example, Yandhi implores his listeners to abandon the pride and vanity of social media and spend their Sundays in solemn prayer with their families. He exhorts that they protect their daughters from the modern day pharisees that seek to lead them astray and promises to raise his sons to be faithful servants of the Church.
Most importantly, Yeezus recognizes that he has until now been a slave to his passions, to his wealth, to his popularity, to the hedonistic modernist hell we all live in and triumphantly declares his freedom from this paradigm. From a lifelong Christian, the second half of the track would feel hollow. From a reformed heretic like Kanye, each sip of Chick-fil-A lemonade is like the ecstasy of Sacrament. Over a minimalist bass and monotone keyboard motif, Kayne pledges his eternal allegiance to the only king that matters – the King of kings, the Lord of lords, Cristo Rey. Much as his wife Kimmy K. recently veiled herself before the Cross, Kanye modestly veils his voice in a thin layer of autotune, humbling himself before the Lord.
On the rest of Jesus is King
, Yandhi takes the bold yet brilliant Fear Inoculum
approach to songwriting by releasing an album of meandering interludes. While they’re all top notch, Closed on Sunday
is so good that it can stand alone. Rather than discuss the other tracks, I’ll leave you with the thought that requiring more than two minutes of music for an all-time classic is just so 2018.
Ultimately, Kanye never tells us what side he orders with his classic chicken combo. Indeed, all those who repent and seek redemption in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be dining at an all-you-can-eat buffet of Chick-fil-A waffle fries in the sky. For the rest, it’s not too late to recognize that Jesus is King, Chick-fil-A is #1, and blasphemy is going out of style.