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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Kid Cudi - Man on the Moon: The End of the Day album review

Ever since the XXL Freshmen 2009 cover, the new rappers on that cover have surrounded by buzz for their respective debut projects. While some came and went in a flash of mediocrity (Asher Roth, Charles Hamilton, and Ace Hood), others used the buzz to reach new heights in their careers. Kid Cudi is in the latter of the two categories. Since then, "Day N' Nite" has become an international hit, "Make Her Say" is climbing the charts, and supposedly the "A Kid Named Cudi" mixtape has reached one million downloads. Now that the official cd has leaked, (it will be out next week) it is time to see if Scott Mescudi confirms expectations.

From his mixtape or if you did not bother to listen and decided to go by XXL's interpretation, you know Cudi has a reputation for having a sing songy delivery, exceptionally catchy hooks, and the theme of being lonely and having mental issues. The final product of all this hype does in fact confirm the reputation he has built. Between Cudi's sing songy delivery and the spacey synths and orchestration, the cd comes off as more Alternative than regular Rap. There is no real display of lyrical excercise (by Cudi anyway), Cudi's strength relies on the production and his raw emotion displayed in his hooks. "Day N' Nite" was so succesful, because the hook was cathcy and also, because you genuinely believe he is a lonely stoner. This is what seperates Kid Cudi form Drake in my point of view. Cudi is less talented, but his songs sound genuine and less formulated. "Pursuit of Happiness", "Heart of a Lion", "Solo Dolo", and "Sky Might Fall" work for all of the same reasons "Day N' Nite " do, because of the beats, hooks, and you can feel what he is saying.

Unfortunately, the flaws are as obvious as Cudi's emotions, Kid Cudi is an average at best rapper and his singing voice is not technically... good. On "Make Her Say" Kanye, Common, and the Lady Gaga sample steal the song, "Enter Galactic" and "Alive" probably could have been done better by better singers, and "Up, Up, and Away" was pointless. Even the songs that are the higlights work, because you really do not have to pay attention to the actual verses, where he barely rhymes. All in all, the cd, as a whole was a very good listen. Just do not expect verses of the year, or the "AAAWWWW up in the cypher" moment. Really, the album is one of those cds that is more suited to ipods and quiet rooms, rather than your car. However, musically, the cd really holds up to the buzz and makes it worth the wait.

7.9/10 Listen to: "Day N' Nite", "Sky Might Fall", and "Pursuit of Happiness"
Avoid: "Up, Up, and Away" and "Alive"