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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Album Review- G.O.O.D. Music- Cruel Summer

Flying under the radar somewhat in this latest era of artist backed label growth has been the GOOD Music banner of Kanye West which previously counted Common and Kid Cudi as members. Cudi still remains and Common is still loosely affiliated with the Midwest based label which is backed by the sounds of Kanye West. This is probably the biggest obstacle in having this actually grow as a label as Mr. West is often preoccupied with his own projects. The much delayed album is finally out, and unfortunately most of the songs have been heard before on various leaks and mix tapes.


The album starts off with a feature from R. Kelly and an unknown female singer on "To The World" which is sort of like "All of The Lights" in the way Kells sings his parts of the song as well as the construction of it. It actually highlights how Kanye can organize something unorthodox and make it work and not just have it be awkward. The newest song is "Clique" which features Big Sean...in what is his best verse ever, Jay-z in an alright verse, and Kanye who drops a decent verse. The best thing on this song is the beat though. "Mercy" with Pusha T, 2 Chainz, Ye, and Big Sean also makes the track list.

My favorite current real hip-hop joint of the moment has to be "New God Flow" with Pusha T, Kanye, and on this album, a verse from Ghostface who is sampled for the hook. A song not really about anything, Pusha starts it off by explaining why he made the unconventional choice to get with G.O.O.D. Music. "The Morning" has an interesting lineup that features Raekwon, Common, and Pusha T leading off with all of the strength, a soulful hook by D'banj, before going to 2Chainz who took the most time ever writing that 8 bars, Cyhi the Prince, Kid Cudi. The song is pretty slick though and no one fails to step up. This is followed up with what was all known as Theraflu but is officially called "Cold" and was fully expected to be on DJ Khaled's recent album.



New artist who has been making a lot of noise, Cocaine 80's is featured on "Higher" alongside The Dream, Pusha T, and Ma$e. Yes, that Mase...on a song talking about people being high...You can think what you will about that one. Malik Yusef, Travis Scott, John Legend, and Teyanna Taylor all chip in to help hold down "Sin City" with Cyhi the Prince. Now on "The One" Kanye enlists Marsha Ambrosius to sing the hook over one of those big orchestra tracks that he makes. Kanye has a decent verse though his last bar is so off-topic it is annoying because it's superficial and pointless. 2 Chainz and Big Sean both tried but I wasn;t impressed by anything they spit. Kid Cudi gets some solo action on "Creepers". Teyanna Taylor and John Legend croon together on "Bliss" and she just sounds awkward. It might be the arrangements don't fit her voice or she is just trying to do too much but I'm not convinced. The album ends with the "I Don't Like Remix". Chief Keef gets to have his song on the album by the biggest Chicago artist today along with Jadakiss, Pusha T, Kanye, and Big Sean.

The album has some strong songs and they occur during the first half, but when The Dream and Mase show up things go downhill in a hurry. At only 12 tracks, this album can't afford to have about half of it be uneven or uninspired, especially when you have some serious music in the first. The production is pretty good but there aren't many interesting concepts and big Sean and 2 Chainz just out right suck so you have to try and hide them, not feature them. This is a compilation that just reeks of a lack of attention and time put into it by Kanye. One of his albums would never be this stilted or disjointed so this is really disappointin, especially when three of the songs have been out for months now.

Rating: 2/5

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