Kid Cudi released his new album, shortened title Satellite Flight, back on March 4th. How does it measure up to his previous releases? Is it even worth purchasing? And what's next for Cudi? Let's delve into it.
Flight's simultaneously the most "Kid Cudi" and least "Kid Cudi" outing he's ever produced, taking his style to the dark side of the moon that we've glanced upon but never fully explored before. In one respect, we're seeing the rawest version of the tortured artist ever, or at least the most abstract. Tracks like "Coperincus Landing" truly sound like you're Skyping a shuttle probing an extraterrestrial surface, and it's far from an isolated instance. Anyone familiar with the Cudian narrative knows the moon metaphor stands for both how unusual his musical concepts can get and his self-perceived emotional and social isolation from the rest of the world. In both regards, he maxes out his potential, even more so than WZRD. Guess how many songs he actually raps on, of the ten. No, go ahead, guess. You're right! One! A rapper rapped on one of his ten rap songs! In a sense, it's hardly a rap album, more of a spaced out ambiance collection. Not a bad one, mind you, but even those who love Cudi's voice will find he doesn't even offer lyrics of 40% of the songs. But if you've paid attention to his artistic growth, you know this is his direction, his destiny. He's more interested in the production and feel of a song, not necessarily on forcing his lyrics down your throat. And that's what this album is all about. Remember; his past, more rap focused CDs have been about the Man on the moon, the person in space. This one's about the journey to space itself, minus the man. Perhaps he'll one day release The Moon as a production only album. I'd be game for that.
On the other hand, something's missing without the dark, oddly annunciated raps. As Cudi fans, its hard to ignore that his two most appealing traits are (1) his extremely relatable content and (2) the entirely unique delivery he created (I'd include his singing voice in this). At his best, he's the 2pac of mental health, laying out problems in an inimitatable way, capturing the attention of the masses because of the raw HONESTY he unleashes. But without hardly any lyrics, its impossible to gather this sense from the FLIGHT project. There's certainly the same personality as a normal Cudi album, but where's the message? It simply doesn't exist. Kid Cudi's a two part act, one of production and persona, and one of voice and interpretation. Minus the lyrics, only one such Cudi possibly exists. Without a full half of the equation, it just doesn't seem like normal Cudi.
Extra props to this experiment for blending the album so well, and using such good beat selection. However, the whole section is simply too short, the tracks without his voice too prominent, to produce a full, Kid-Cudi-esque report. Man on the Moon III will surely be a larger hit than this, as it should include some lyrics, but Kid Cudi stretches himself thin on this album. It's more a 40 minute podcast than an album whose pieces can coexist without each other, so essentially, listen to the whole thing, or listen to none of it.
Top 5 Songs:
1. Satellite Flight
2. Balmain Jeans
3. Too Bad I Have to Destroy You
4. Return of the Moon Man
5. Copernicus Landing
Songs to Smoke to:
Songs to drive to at night:
Songs to study/reflect to:
Songs to make love to:
1. Balmain Jeans