Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager
...I don't think that by saying that Kid Cudi isn't a great singer that I'm starting up any controversy. So when he's "singing" "woah-oh-woah-oh-woooah" on REVOFEV, the point is going to be understood even more than usual. Slow down the music and put Kid Cudi's singing voice front and center, and you are going to get some mediocrity. Kid Cudi wants to sing and so on this album, you get lots of mediocrity. Now, but him on a Rock-Pop or an almost Dance track or (just for fun) an actual HIP-HOP track and you get much better results.
Now, give him a more "mc-like" flow, and you get better results. Or bury the voice in a cacophony of sound, even. Cudi is clearly charismatic. I'm all about charisma being able to turn "meh" into "not bad"(I love Keith Sweat) and so the producers who put together Kid Cudi's music have got to understand what they have got and need to do a better job of working it.
This album is 17 tracks long. Of these 17 tracks, 8 of them are tracks that put Kid Cudi's singing voice front and center and try to make it work. Now, these songs aren't Kim Kardashian bad. But they most certainly aren't great. Songs like "All Along" and "GHOST!" do not play up to the strengths of Kid Cudi at all. As I said before, but his sleepy voice on an uptempo track and things get much better.
The opener is a good example of playing to Cudi's strengths. "Scott Mescudi Vs. The World" is slightly uptempo and almost a dance song and this is where Kid Cudi belongs. The Cee-Lo assist helps a ton. Put him on Hip-Hop track like "Don't Play This Song" and he is compelling. "Mojo So Dope" seems to be more of a Hip-Hop beat, as does "The End".
But nope. Kid Cudi wants to be on songs like single "Erase Me".
"Erase Me" is a bad performance boosted by good production values and a Kanye West Assist. But songs like this (again) do not play up to Kid Cudi's strengths at all (although, I will admit that this would be a great karaoke song because you can't possibly screw it up).
Look, I'm not a Kid Cudi hater. On the contrary, I find him oddly compelling as an artist. However, dude just is not a great singer. I've said it I think 20 times just on this post alone, and I'm not sure how many times in my review of Man On The Moon. This album tried to be a bit more Pop-Rock in places, and that turned out OK. It tried to be a bit for the club, and that worked out OK. It tries to be Hip-Hop and it works REALLY WELL. "Mojo So Dope" is a 5/5 Hip-Hop track...but when it tries to be a let Kid Cudi sing and carry the track, it's all fail whale baby. Somebody get a hold of the acapella version of this and set it to some club beats. Let's hear those remixes because those for sure will sound dope.
3.294 out of 5
|1. Scott Mescudi vs. The World (feat. Cee-Lo Green) (03:55)||4|
|2. REVOFEV (03:03)||3|
|3. Don't Play This Song (feat. Mary J. Blige) (03:42)||4|
|4. We Aite (Wake Your Mind Up) (01:26)|
|5. Marijuana (04:20)||4|
|6. Mojo So Dope (03:30)||5|
|7. Ashin' Kusher (03:48)||4|
|8. Erase Me (feat. Kanye West) (03:13)||4|
|9. Wild'n Cuz I'm Young (04:14)||3|
|10. The Mood (02:35)||4|
|11. MANIAC (feat. Cage & St. Vincent) (02:58)||4|
|12. Mr. Rager (04:54)||3|
|13. These Worries (feat. Mary J. Blige) (04:16)||3|
|14. The End (feat. GLC, Chip tha Ripper & Nicole Wray) (04:21)||4|
|15. All Along (03:22)||2|
|16. GHOST! (04:49)||2|
|17. Trapped in My Mind (03:34)||3|