The cruelest thing about Kanye West’s latest album is the pain of listening to it. West released “Cruel Summer” Sept. 18, and despite the hype around the album’s pre-released singles “Mercy” and “Clique,” the album didn’t live up to fans’ sky-high expectations.
The opening track, “To The World” has an unnatural sound to it, and like the rest of the album, features a number of rappers that detract from West’s own lyrics and rhythm. Out of the nearly four minutes of auto-tune, it only becomes interesting about two minutes in, when West finally starts to rap.
The more mainstream “Mercy” and “Clique” are definitely catchier, yet they are hollow in meaning, unlike his earlier music from “The College Dropout” and “Late Registration.”
“Cold” feat. DJ Khaled, is one notable track. This track has just West’s voice, and brings back nostalgic overtones from 2005’s “Late Registration,” because it actually has meaning. In it, West talks about the troubles that come with his fame and fortune.
“The One” is also interesting because of self-abosorbed and haunting lyrics that represent Kanye at his best. In this track, he raps “Yeah I’m the one, baby/Since God gave his only begotten son, baby […] Best way to describe my position is at the helm.”
Though this song is very serious, West throws in a joke about his life with the Kardashians: “We on a galaxy the haters cannot visit/That’s my reality so get off my Scott Disick,” he raps. Here, he pokes fun at his potential brother-in-law and emphasizes his indifference towards his critics.
Although West’s new album has a few solid tracks on it, don’t buy every song on it unless you are truly a die-hard fan. Otherwise, get lost in his old (but fantastic) tracks from “The College Dropout” and “Late Registration.” As for “Cruel Summer:” Kanye, I love you, but you’re bringing me down.