Kanye West & Kid Cudi - 'Kids See Ghosts' album review
Originality9.4
Lyrics9.1
Replay Value9
Instrumentation9.4
Impact9.2
We Liked...
  • The infectious eclectic chemistry of the duo!
  • The brazen experimentation on display!
  • Overall tenacity of the project!
We Didn't Like...
  • When the project finishes..
9.2Overall Score
Reader Rating: (5 Votes)
8.5

With ‘Daytona’ setting the palette of rich and lively production that beautifully illuminated the powerful and prominent delivery Pusha T revels in and ‘ye’ setting a tone of honesty and introspection, ‘Kids See Ghosts’ fits in this sequence of quality releases like a tailor-made suit. Kanye and Kid Cudi combine emphatically to carry out what they promised with the foreshadowing of the soothing and spirit-raising ‘Ghost Town’ that is one of the many excellent moments of ‘ye’.

The transition from ‘ye’ to ‘Kids See Ghosts’ can be viewed as musical illustration / expression of bi-polar ups and downs; ‘ye’ being the down and ‘Kids See Ghosts’ rising up, strong. – Furthering that and picturing ‘ye’ as a rainy day with thunder storming off in the distance, ‘Kids See Ghosts’ is the rainbow that bursts through the grey clouds and brightens up as far as the eye can see.

It is amazing how concise and compact each of these releases have been, they prove you can convey a hell of a lot in a short period and champion a very direct, efficient and to-the-point approach, I feel disbelief toward the fact it only takes twenty four minutes to listen to every inch of this project – making the replay value incredibly high – ‘KSG’ creates a perfect infusion of the two artist’s creativity, of the instrumentation with the vocals, the timing, truly every aspect has been paid painstaking detail to.

‘Kids See Ghosts’ see’s quite a revitalised Kanye compared to what we heard on ‘ye’ (read our review here: http://bloggersgamut.com/albums/kanye-west-ye-album-review/) which plays as a self-exhibition and exploration of the current mindstate of the now-very-adult and personal Yeezy (shows his humanity and humility, same anxieties that plague everyone but some feel ‘things are different for celebrities’ naively) , with less lyrical focus on the self and more slick wordplay that the college dropout manages to unleash at ease. The fact the project dropped on Yeezy’s 41st birthday certainly adds significance – if ‘ye’ was the conscious clearing, closet skeleton evicting Kanye, then ‘Kids See Ghosts’ is a revamped and intrinsically optimistic ‘Ye, accompanied by the reassuring and gleaming presence of long-time conspirator Kid Cudi.

Kanye x Cudi @TLOP listening party

Kanye x Cudi @TLOP listening party

Instances of enchantment are often the result of whenever Kanye and Cudi have previously collaborated and a lot of fans will have been hoping for a full-length joint project from the two psychic creatives, all that ‘Kids See Ghosts’ does is serve to prove and confirm the theory (although whether its a ‘full-length project’ is debatable). The quality over quantity approach has only left people wanting more – artists are more focused as there are less tracks so is easier to perfect a body of work, as Kanye (as producer) has done for these three consecutive releases.

The project continues the excellence delivered by the two releases so far, Kids See Ghosts elevates the stature to a ‘4th Dimension‘ – the next level ethereal track is built off incredible sampling, as Kanye flips a 1936 Christmas song into the backbone of this “theme song”. Kanye’s opening verse whizzes through and grabs attention at the closing as he states if he got thrown in jail, he wouldn’t finish the sen… you get it? Yeah. Cudi comes in sounding more direct than on other cuts, with a cool vibe and strong energy talking about drugs and sex in relation to a fourth dimension.

This album just feels like soul music; incredibly multi-layered whilst simultaneously appearing seamless and simple, the chemistry of the duo exudes effortlessness. The album cover perfectly encapsulates what you hear – a rich and colourful tapestry that soothes and is quite a wonder to marvel at. The aptly fitting album cover is a consistent theme with each of these releases; ‘Daytona’ features the drug paraphernalia laden bathroom of Whitney Houston resembling the topics addressed and outspoken boldness of the album. Whereas the personal revelations of ‘ye’ were simply conveyed with a stock-photo looking mountain range contrasted with the bipolar addressing quirky text.

Freeee (Ghost Town part 2)

The chilling while harmonic supportive plethora of choir-like background vocals adds layers of depth on top of the reverberating slick and slightly distorted guitar laden beat. Song features a really grabbing chorus, specifically the intriguing pronunciation of ‘freeee’ which strikes as almost comedic at first but truly does encapsulate the freedom that is being preached of. Queue this to play after ‘Ghost Town’, for most conducive results. Kanye’s suggestion that “you should quit your job to this” is fitting and comical, the song would be an ideal soundtrack for when you decide you’ve had enough of the soul-draining employment you’re shackled in and muster up the strength to quit.

Reborn

A soothing / calming pat on the back that reassures the listener everything is gonna be okay – a feeling echoed through most of the tracks, giving the project a somewhat therapeutic quality. This is one of the more indulgent offerings of the album as it runs just over five minutes, driven by Cudi’s uplifting hooks of “keep moving forward”, and punctuated by Kanye’s ‘Dark Fantasy’ meets ‘Can’t Tell Me Nothing’ style verse, rapping about his recent situation and putting a positive twist on all.

Kids See Ghosts

The title track ushers in a moodier tone with a minimal feeling, low rolling and ‘clicky’ beat, with a dreamy Mos Def providing the chorus leading the way for Cudi‘s introspective and chilled verse. Gears are shifted when Mr. West appears abruptly after the second chorus, matter-of-factly beginning his verse with “Well, it took me long enough to rap on this strong enough”, similarly with Reborn the delivery here reminded me instantly of ‘Dark Fantasy’, the remainder of the verse swaggers about braggadocious as the outward-looking lyrically focused Kanye often is.

‘Feel the Love’ kicks off the enticing ride with an emphatic Pusha T verse then ascends into some extreme Kanye-ism and instrumental barrage. Other track ‘Fire’ is a moody, better-than-you rumination with quite the jingling set of drums and features the least singing of all the tracks. The project then ends with the modestly titled ‘Cudi Montage’ consisting of a rustic stringy guitar riff developing on-top of a high-tempo pretty standard modern hip-hop drum beat, littered with echoing chants of “stay strong” and some suiting Cudi humming, making way for Kanye coming in with a real ‘College Dropout’ feeling spirited and observant verse.

The impending glamorous unstoppable force that is the soon-coming Kanye produced Nas album quite simply, scares me to think of how impactful and enticing an album this is going to be. GOOD Music potent lyricist CyHi The Prynce who appears to have been ‘shelved’ on a couple of occasions by Kanye and GOOD Music, culminating in a diss record that funnily enough Kanye approved of, and agreed with finally looks set to get the chance to shine as he’s threatened to do since featuring on ‘So Appalled’ from MBDTF back in 2010 –

CyHi has confirmed on twitter that he too is getting the Kanye 7 track treatment, with fellow Yeezy conspirator Malik Yusef also announcing a project!

One thing is fair and safe to assume; make no mistake, its going to be a CRUEL SUMMER of GOOD Music dominance.

 

Kids See Ghosts is available to order (physicals ship in August) from https://www.kanyewest.com and is live digitally on all music streaming platforms now!

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