Wow. I haven't written an album review since Childish Gambino's in mid-December (I'm not ready to address the retirement elephant in the room so don't make me). Here we are halfway through 2017 and I'm writing my first album review. You should know by now that I digest music slowly. Very slowly. There's no way that I can keep up with the two second attention span of the average music consumer and I don't plan on it. However, I do plan on jumping on reviews sooner. Expect a couple hot takes now and again too. Now that I've got that out of the way, let's talk Kid Cudi.
This is my very first time listening to a full Kid Cudi album. *waits for stones and backlash* Truthfully, I don't remember much besides 'Day N Nite' *puts up Steven bubble*. That song played on the radio a zillion and two times and for every rotation there was an accompanying remix. My introduction to Passion, Pain, Demon Slayin' was through 'Surfin'. The single's upbeat and positive nature surprised me because after reading headlines and listening to reviews of other projects I expected Kid Cudi's music to be slow and dark. I allowed 'Surfin' to play through my headphones no less than 10 times a day for weeks.
Kid Cudi's purposefully ambient tracks are mystifying. On my first listen at work I barely noticed how much time passed until I looked up from my mountain of papers and checked my phone for a break. He guides his listener through 19 tracks of signature hums, atmospheric production, and delicately placed lyrics. The album is sectioned into 4 digestible acts to allow for optimal reception. You should buy the physical copy to experience the album the way Kid Cudi intended. Aside from 'Frequency' and 'Surfin', I can identify my favorite tracks from each act: 'By Design' (ft. Andre 3000), 'Rose Golden' (ft. Willow Smith), Kitchen, and 'The Guide' (ft. Andre 3000). As a Outkast fanatic, the 3K features are a no brainer. Rose Golden embodies passion, pain, and demon slaying with its aura of learning, enlightenment, and strength. The Guide's gritty adlibs and harrowing vocal choices were the deciding factor in my song choice for the final act.
Passion, Pain, and Demon Slayin' singlehandedly converted me into a Kid Cudi fan. I did a couple Googles to see how well the album did during its first week. It almost broke 50,000 and that made my heart hurt. I know album sales don't pay the bills nowadays but this album deserved more than 50k. As strong as Kid Cudi's fan base is I expected more from his loyal fans. This album is interesting and introspective without sacrificing critical enjoyable nuances. I wish I could've been a part of the 50k but I know for certain that I will be a part of the first week album sales for the next one.