Album Reviews: Wrap Up of 2020, June – December

I’ve been trying to think of something profound to say about 2020 as an introduction to this post, a wrap up of the rest of my month-by-month album reviews of the year, something I started during the first lockdown, and in synergy to how this pandemic has gone; those posts started with much fluster, meandered, and has now come back with renewed enthusiasm, and a new string (strain) to its bow. The new strings in this post are simply a more rushed approach to getting these album reviews done, or simply sharing what albums I enjoyed listening to each month, much like the UK governments approach to getting the Pfizer vaccine approved, or quickly hashing out a last minute trade deal with the EU.

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Album Reviews: June 8th, featuring Kanye West & Kid Cudi, Jorja Smith, and Lykke Li

Kanye West & Kid Cudi – Kids See Ghosts

Whatever your opinion of Kanye West is, you can’t deny that he has made some great music. The enigmatic figure, love him or hate him, loathe his manipulation of the media and outspoken personality, his relationship with Kim Kardashian, he’s an artist who has consistently released good music, whilst pushing boundaries and often changing perspectives. On ‘Kids See Ghosts’ he is joined by long-term collaborator Kid Cudi, who like Kanye is returning to music after battling depression.

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Video: Kid Cudi – Solo Dolo (Fan Video)

Music video I did for a college assignment of Kid Cudi’s song ‘Solo Dolo.’ All filmed on my GoPro camera and edited in Final Cut. I’m a huge of Kid Cudi and this is one of my favourite, if not the darkest, tracks off his first studio album ‘Man On The Moon: The End Of Days.’ Whilst producing the music video I really looked into what the song was about and started to put meaning to the lyrics, here’s my conclusion;

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Album Review: Kid Cudi – Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon

Floating around in space riding a unicycle with no care in the world, looking down at Earth with a beaming smile on my face. This is how Satellite Flight makes you feel. The beautiful synths and atmospheric melodies that play throughout the album are hugely captivating. It is these musical elements combined with Cudi’s iconic hums and distorted singing that really do create the feeling of floating through space on your way to the moon. This encapsulating feeling makes Satellite Flight one of the most intriguing and innovative albums of the 21st century.

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Album Review: Kid Cudi – Indicud

When Kid Cudi announced back in the summer of 2012 that his new album was going to be his version of ‘The Chronic 2001’ I think many people didn’t take him seriously, to make such a bold comparison so early on is an example of his new found confidence, and whilst being perhaps not on the same level as Dr Dre’s album, it certainly pushes boundaries and is extremely creative. The mood of the album is in complete contrast to his previous albums ‘Man On The Moon’ and ‘Man On The Moon II’ where we traveled through Kid Cudi’s dark and twisted mind, which revealed his loneliness and pent up anger at the world. The atmosphere in this album is a much more positive one and as he explained via twitter this album is ‘the product of him riding through the bad times and now celebrating the good.’ In terms of sound the albums are comparable with Kid Cudi playing with his eery and haunting vocals over unusual synthesised hip-hop beats, using various samples from bands like MGMT and Gorrilaz. The big difference on this project is that he has taken full reins over everything, the production, beat making, design…EVERYTHING. Deciding against using his usual producer and friend ‘Dot Da Genius’ so that he could have full 100% input on the album. This works really well and even with the production not being completely crisp and with the beats being more simple, it creates an artsy and stylised effect, allowing the lyrics and vocals to stand out, best shown on the tracks ‘Unfuckwittable’, ‘ Solo Dolo, Pt II’ and ‘King Wizard.’

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