"Passion, Pain &Demon Slayin,'" by Kid Cudi
Return to form," for Cudi, and that descriptor fits pretty well. It isn't a masterpiece, but it definitely is listenable and something I enjoyed. Plus, Andre 3000 stops by for a bit at times on the album and that's always a treat for his somewhat-retired genius to spread some love(a number of other talents appear too, from Travis $cott to Willow Smith, of all people). As I stated though, Cudi rarely makes things easy, and this album drags a bit while achieving its 90-ish minutes worth of content.
Cudi could have kept the good stuff like album-opener, "Frequency," or, "Rose Golden," and easily shortened or cut completely some other material like, "Swim in the Light." Cudi arguably doesn't want to make things easy though, so I would imagine he likely doesn't care if his music is at times challenging, or difficult. I mean, there still are a number of wonderful moments inserted within the irritation so maybe he does know what he's doing after all, long run-time or not.
"Blank Face," by Schoolboy Q
a follow-up is being made for release this year gets me excited!
"Awaken, My Love!" by Childish Gambino
"Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight," by Travi$ Scott
I've previously discussed how Travis Scott has the ability to give us songs with surreal sounds that just absorb a listener in. His rapping abilities have been questioned repeatedly, and even if his guest lyricists outshine him often, Scott gives us some quality songs on this LP. I think Scott's best instrument is arguably his voice--not his raps, but his voice itself. With its moans, growls, and hums, Scott creates a sound from his vocal chords that often matches perfectly with the dreamy and/or nightmarish soundscapes his songs cook-up.
Plus, with a guest-list as good as the ones he gets, Scott doesn't even have to try and do too much heavy-lifting lyrically. Just have Andre 3000 stop by ("The Ends), throw Kendrick Lamar on an awesome track ("Goosebumps"), and let Young Thug do his trademark weird sing-song style too ("Pick Up the Phone") and you're guaranteed at least enough ingenious material you can get away with a few less-impressive songs ("Coordinate" feels like it drags on forever). Oh, and just as $cott was on Cudi's latest album, Cudi returns the favor and gives us some magic on, "Through the Late Night." Although, whereas the earlier-discussed Cudi has guests sometimes, Scott really does feel like he's depending on them. Even if with all these amazing guests Scott doesn't have to try too hard lyrically, it is nice to see him keep developing as a rapper--albeit slowly. Still, with his sounds, his vocal instrumentation, and some amazing guests, Scott without question gives us an album worth listening to.