So the highly anticipated G.O.O.D Music album is finally here (well technically it still isn’t here, since it’s been leaked early and isn’t officially out til the18th but you get my point.) Being a big fan of Kanye, I was really excited for this album, and had planned to buy it. This was simply an excuse to “try before I buy”, so to speak. And I’m seriously glad I did listen to it for free first because it would have been money wasted in my opinion.
Now that’s not to say that this is a “bad” album; with as many big names on here as there are (John Legend, Chief Keef, Big Sean, Pusha T, Common, Jay-Z and Raekwon among many others) it could never really be a terrible album. However, it’s exceptionally average. Save for a rare few tracks on the album, almost every verse is generic money lyrics, car lyrics, drug lyrics, women lyrics. I understand that this kind of thing is still popular, but to have it in such a high concentration is both boring and repetitive.
2Chainz seems to be incapable of writing a verse that isn’t about one of those things, and this is why I was unhappy about him even being on the album, and why I now know that my unhappiness at that time was a correct prediction. In my opinion, he’s bland, uninspiring and samey, and it really showed on this album. Jay’s only appearance on the album (on the track “Clique”) was a solid verse, similar to his style on Watch The Throne which worked well. Big Sean was the same for me on every track: great flow but not much that I felt was really “special” about him, and I struggled to really appreciate his lyrics when he was effectively repeating himself on each track he did.
Pusha T is a real redeeming feature of the album; all of his verses were solid and I like his style and the way he sounds on a track. New God Flow was the best track on the album by a mile, and his first verse on that track is one of my favourite verses that I’ve heard in months. New God Flow is the saving grace of Cruel Summer for me, I haven’t got enough good things that I could say about it. One of my favourite rap tracks I’ve ever heard, the beat is memorable, the loop is classic and the Ghostface sample is perfect for the track.
The hidden gem of the album for me is a track called Sin City. It’s the only track on the album that doesn’t feature one of the “big names” of the group, as it’s a collaborative effort from Teyana Taylor, Cyhi the Prince, Malik Yusef & Travis Scott. I’m happy to admit that I’d not heard of any of these artists before I listened to the album, but they really impressed me on this song. It was a breath of fresh air on an album that has largely been stale and repetitive. Malik Yusef, a spoken word poet, delivers a short but powerful verse which I found gave great depth to the track (and perhaps restored some of the desperately needed content for the whole album).
Creepers, a solo effort from Kid Cudi, was another of my favourites from the album; his laid-back approach worked well over the upbeat yet chilled instrumental. It was a feel-good tune and I appreciated the originality of it in comparison to the majority of the album.
My least favourite track was Higher, featuring The-Dream and Mase. I hated the auto-tune singing at the start, it’s something I really don’t like and doubt I ever will. Mase’s verse once again resorted to lyrics about how rich he is, and I think that can be seen as a description of the whole album; it showed some slight potential in areas (which there is on this track with a solid first verse) but ultimately the album leans on shallow and unoriginal verses about money and cars, really lacking any profound lyrics.
One thing that definitely deserves a mention though is a certain line from Kanye, in which he says “My girl’s a superstar all from a home movie”. It’s interesting to see him address the obvious elephant in the room with Kim Kardashian; the fact that she effectively became famous because of a sex tape. After being inundated with various jokes or slurs about her, Kanye has seemingly responded to it in a rather positive way, compared to his well-publicised emotional outbursts over the past few years.
All in all, the album is… okay. That’s really just it though. It should have been so much better then it was, it didn’t feel as much of an album as much as a compilation of shallow and samey rap tunes as opposed to the kind of releases I’ve come to expect from Kanye, but I suppose the album is supposedly a group release. Don’t get me wrong though, there will be people who absolutely love this album. For those who enjoy money lyrics and all the other kind of repetitive stuff I’ve mentioned above, this may well be the greatest album ever in your eyes, but to me it’s a real disappointment.