Album Review: Kids See Ghosts – Kids See Ghosts

Alex McKenzie reviews the debut album of hip-hop superduo Kids See Ghosts, and pits them against their contemporaries.

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Following the release of chart-topping “Ye”, Kanye propels himself back into the limelight, this time with long-time collaborator/frenemy Kid Cudi under the pseudonym Kids See Ghosts with an album of the same name. Clocking in at a short but punchy 7 tracks Kids See Ghosts follows the trend of recent G.O.O.D music releases that have provided a refreshing take on modern Hip-Pop albums which have become notoriously long, erratic and lacking theme (Migos’ Culture II, for example, was an extraordinary 106 minutes).https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bZqAfJBsSk

In Kids See Ghosts Kanye has produced yet another masterpiece, which like every preceding album has skirted the lines of the existing mainstream and forged a path for the progression of Hip-Pop. The experimental production sees gospel ad-libs mixed with heavy bass and drum snares, amongst a conglomerate of other instruments which works to create a new defining sound for the duo that only Yeezy could pull off.

a gripping moment of lyricism that will have you on the edge of your seat

After confusion surrounding the track ordering on streaming services that took a day to rectify, the opening track was finally settled on as “Feel the Love”. Hot from his critically acclaimed album DAYTONA, Pusha T returns for a guest feature on this track taking centre stage to pick up where he left off with clever wordplay and his renowned hard-hitting flows. This, along with Kanye reverting to his tried and tested method of using his voice as an instrument, creates what can only be described as a gripping moment of lyricism that will have you on the edge of your seat.

While on “Ye”, Kanye did touch upon his well-documented past struggles, the references were often erratic, lacking depth and niche, pointing to very recent comments he’d made. Conversely, on Kids See Ghosts, Kanye and Cudi take their lyricism to another level providing a poignant, introspective view of their recent history, especially on tracks such as “Reborn”. Kanye raps “I was off the meds, I was called insane, what an awesome thing, engulfed in shame”, this really is Kanye at his most open and honest and provides a fascinating insight into the mind of one of this generation’s creative genius’. Alongside this, Cudi addresses checking himself into rehab in 2016 singing “At times, wonder my purpose, easy then to feel worthless, but peace is somethin’ that starts with me”. Turning these dark times into a positive gives the track an uplifting feel that is hard to resist not singing along to as Cudi compellingly sings “I’m so reborn, I’m movin’ forward, keep movin’ forward”.

references were often erratic, lacking depth and niche, pointing to very recent comments he’d made

Sampling the late, great Kurt Cobain’s ‘Burn the Rain’ guitar riff, Cudi Montage is certainly the standout track, closing the album on a crescendo. Kid Cudi, unsurprisingly, dominates this track with his trademark smooth hooks that invoke memories of his Man on the Moon breakthrough era. With the cover art designed by Takashi Murakami, the same artist who designed Kanye’s Graduation album cover, it is fitting that Kanye’s rapping here is evocative of his vintage rhythm whilst providing a contrasting dynamic to the rest of the track. As is a common theme throughout the album, Kid Cudi dominates Cudi Montage with Kanye dropping in for one verse that packs a punch and leaves you irresistibly pining for more.

Kids See Ghosts provides a return to form for Kid Cudi, his famous humming and sultry dulcet tones define the album. Alongside the experimental beats, Kanye and Kid Cudi’s styles complement each other. They bounce off each other’s energy which is like a breath of fresh air and makes Kids See Ghosts a must listen!

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