After working away quietly with Kanye West on some music in collaboration with him, Kid Cudi unleashed this album, his debut album. Hip Hop and Rap were only just really getting started in terms of commercial acceptance at this point, eventually overtaking Rock music as the most listened to genre in the 2010s. So it seems that Kid Cudi was the right person at the right time to listen to. Still, is listening to his music a point in this instance? Let’s find out.
In My Dreams (Cudder Anthem) begins this album with some retro 1980s sounding beats and sounds with a load of delay on it. Kid Cudi gets going here, and his voice exudes calmness and warmth. This has some brilliant sounds and some relaxing vibes abound. A really out there and Psychedelic/Electronic piece, this is very much like Trip Hop here. A very gentle listen with a gorgeous string section, this is a good start from Kid Cudi. Washes of digital ambient sounds make for a good and interesting listen, and Kid Cudi raps nicely away. There is a spoken word section in the second half discussing defining one’s purpose, and it promotes Kid Cudi’s style. A very motivating piece, and if you need to hear something to get you achieving your goals, this is it. A nice start to the record.
Soundtrack 2 My Life begins with some processed electric guitar harmonics, before launching into a decent Rap tune that is a self-statement from Kid Cudi. An interesting listen, this is along the lines of Trip-Hop music. It’s very much intended to be. Lyrically it is about addressing personal problems from within and making it as a Rapper, very much in line with normal stuff for Rap music. This is surprisingly good, and it points to the fact that Kid Cudi had some awesome tunes in him. Plenty of sexual and drug references are present on this record, and it just sounds normal in that respect for this type of music. Despite the fact that Kid Cudi is venting emotionally here, this sounds very positive and has a good conclusion. There are some delayed and distorted vocals at the end, along with some other very Psychedelic sounds.
Simple As… begins with the letter of the alphabet being chanted, along with numbers in the other channel. Kid Cudi launches into a rather irritating sounding piece, but all the same, it’s quite good for what it is. Annoyances aside, this is another Trip Hop Rap piece with drug references and other wacky sounds abound. It ends with violin strings and a spoken word outro and closes with some rather weird pseudo-guitar sounds. Enjoyable, at least in some respects.
Solo Dolo (Nightmare) begins with some strange high-end keyboard sounds, before launching into a plucked string piece with some decent bass. Kid Cudi gets singing away very well, and this piece sounds interesting. It is about the experiences that one has whilst dreaming. An interesting concept, the verses eventually get going with some nicely added string sections. To be fair, this isn’t the greatest tune on this album so far. This isn’t scary nor depressing, unlike what the title may suggest. Instead, it is an imaginative listen from Kid Cudi, and he puts a very drug induced sound to record. Okay for what it is, it does sound really moving and emotional in this song. Very beautiful, especially in the chorus. It ends with some lone vocals and some basic beats.
Heart Of A Lion (Kid Cudi Theme Remix) begins with some sparse breakbeats and direct Rapping from Kid Cudi. It is a reflection on things gone by and is a good listen throughout. This is keeping very much with the theme of selfish determination that Kid Cudi has in his music. Somehow, one can wish for a more diverse set of topics to hear, but the music and mixing are excellent all the same. There is an undercurrent of real melancholy in this tune, and it sounds very moving as a result. There are some chanted vocals mixed into this piece, along with more string sections in the chorus. The second half of this tune is rawer sounding, with Kid Cudi rapping over a piano and Hip Hop beats. Nonetheless, this is a very good listen, even if it sounds a little depressing. A good take on Trip Hop music. It ends with some dirty Acid style sounds and repeated chanted vocals, which contradict each other, before a delayed vocal ends this piece. Not too bad.
My World features Billy Craven. It begins with some violining on a Fender Stratocaster sounding guitar, before launching into a rather depressing sounding tune that is more of the same lyrically, matched with a simple and trippy backing track. It’s a good listen for those who are teenagers who need the motivation to make it. Musically and lyrically this fits very well, even if it does sound sad and depressing overall, which drags the music down, unfortunately. Negativity and music aren’t always great, and this is proof of that. The chorus is a good reflection on the ongoings of Kid Cudi’s life, which is very selfish and self-obsessed lyrically. The repeated lyrics on the matter are pretty unimaginative, but the soundtrack is good for what it is. A bit lengthy as well, this one could have been edited down somewhat. It’s good, but not fantastic.
Day ‘N’ Nite (Nightmare) is the key track from this album and the most popular song from it as well. It begins with basic beats and interesting electronic sounds, before launching into a stoner anthem that is awesome. It launches into an awesome chorus and sound that still sounds excellent to this day. This is another autobiographical piece from Kid Cudi, and although this track is amazing, the autobiographical content wears down the music a little. Anyway, if you need to get high on weed by smoking joints or sucking on a bong (or by any other method), this is your anthem. An interesting piece devoted to Mary Jane herself, this is a really great listen nonetheless, no matter if you are high or sober. It ends with the repeated beats and awesome sonic textures, before launching into an unusual section before concluding. A good listen.
Sky Might Fall begins with some dark textures and pummelling breakbeats. This instantly sounds very ordinary and continues the selfishly obsessed theme that Kid Cudi has here on this album. This is also very inward looking and depressing sounding, which isn’t a strong point musically. It’s not even passable, and bands like Radiohead do depressing music better than this. If you can decide on skipping this track, do so. This repetitive and difficult listening is nothing excellent here, and the music is not very enjoyable nor listenable. With Kid Cudi pleading to the listener to “listen up”, he sounds very desperate to make a point on this track. Very disappointing for what this is, this could have been junked. Terrible.
Enter Galactic (Love Connection Part I) begins with some basic beats and pseudo-Jazz keyboards. Kid Cudi gets on the microphone fairly quickly, and this piece launches off quickly. A good tune that falls short of being a great tune, it still has its Psychedelic merits about it. This is surprisingly lyrically romantic, and Kid Cudi puts his heart on his sleeve here. A very decent and enjoyable listen all the same, although this tune is very much following the rather selfish themes of this album. Regardless, this is decent Trip-Hop music that still sounds good to this day. This isn’t an instant classic album but is a good listen throughout for the most part, and this is a decent example of that. This is good for what it is, and it has a more EDM feel to it than other tracks on this album, complete with a 4/4 beat present. A very interesting and intricate piece nonetheless, this isn’t perfect. There is a string laden outro with a spoken word part over the top of it. Good work.
Alive (Nightmare) features Ratatat and begins with some trippy reversed sounds and some interesting wah-wah style sounds that are electronic. Some interesting guitar based sounds are thrown into the mix, and this decent tune gets going. It is an interesting listen throughout, and sounds like a Rap take on Pink Floyd, in some ways. This is another good but not great tune that will appeal to Trip Hop, Rap and stoner music fans, but not everyone else. Anyway, it is a good yet repetitive piece that possibly could have been edited for length’s sake. There are some surprising na-na-na’s here, just before Ratatat enters with his part. Interesting music, even if it is not a standout track here. Weird and wonderful music for those who indulge in recreational drugs, it is interesting listening anyway.
Cudi Zone begins with very 1980s sounds before some cut-up Hip Hop beats enter. Again, this feels musically like a letdown and points to the fact that this album is very patchy. In any case, this song is okay, but not absolutely fantastic. Kid Cudi raps very quickly on this tune, and he delivers where he can. The song is fairly forgettable, but it isn’t bad, it just lacks the magic that it should have had. The rapping on this tune is very, very good all the same. A good try, but in retrospect, it should have been bettered. This is obviously postmodern Psychedelic music to bring one’s consciousness to a higher level when drunk, high or sober. There is a strange intermission section towards the end before the 1980s synth sounds and beats recommence before Kid Cudi sings away nicely to conclude this song. Good work.
Make Her Say is a collaborative effort with Kanye West and Common. It begins with some Rapping and samples and a lady singing away. This quickly launches into a punchy and direct tune that is a bit of a strange turn for Kid Cudi musically, but the lyrics are very sexually oriented. A good piece of mixing, sampling and guest appearances, this sounds very unusual but nicely driven. A very catchy and enjoyable listen, with references to getting a chick’s Facebook and other things along that line, this is very catchy. A good listen with a nice singing section by the lady who is sampled throughout this track, this tune is very underrated. Excellent effort.
Pursuit Of Happiness (Nightmare) is one of the most popular pieces from this album and features MGMT and Ratatat. It begins with some awesome Psychedelic wah-wah sounds before some good vocals enter and this piece gets going with some cool beats. It’s definitely about drug use, specifically marijuana and other drugs that one can get. This is about not worrying about anything in the world when wasted. A really enjoyable and euphoric tune throughout, it is ecstatic and positive sounding. If you are over Dr Dre’s 2001 album after hearing it a million times and need a tune to get mashed up to, this is it. Totally awesome and enjoyable, this is pleasant and fine listening for a song like this. The guests here do an excellent job as well. There is a sort of backwards guitar solo here that fits the track perfectly and nicely and adds to the druggy euphoria. Excellent song, and is a must hear from this album. It ends with some processed sounds and some subtle wasted drug talk, before finishing up with some piano as well. Great song.
Hyyerr features Chip Tha Ripper. It begins with a string section, some female vocals in the background and some fake radio talk along with some mellow beats. This of course is another drug inspired piece of music with direct weed talk. This obviously is an album you should not play around with kids, there is so much illicit drug talk on it. It is a gentle, subtle and relaxing piece of music with some decent Rapping and melodicism on it. A very enjoyable tune, this is sweet and refreshing sounding. A good one to smoke up to, like the track before it, it is a really interesting and fresh listen throughout. An awesome piece of tranquillity, Kid Cudi and co. have nailed it here. Wonderful and joyful to listen to, this does sound incredible. You may laugh in delight when hearing this piece, it’s mega.
Up Up & Away begins with some loose guitar parts that are delayed, before an acoustic guitar and real drum beats enter. Kid Cudi raps about recovering from a big night out and this launches into a rather pathetic Poppy piece which is rather a sell-out move for this album. This is disappointing and Kid Cudi returns to the selfish lyrics that he had earlier on in this album. This mixed quality album has some good parts and bad parts, and this is one of the latter. It is an interesting listen but it is just terrible sounding this song. If you wish to skip ahead, do so. It doesn’t sound like Kid Cudi at his best here. In any case, this mediocre offering is probably not to everyone’s tastes. The recording is slowed right down towards the end, and a completely different section with strings and beats emerge with some spoken words over it. A poor effort, but maybe Kid Cudi knew that was the case?
Day ‘N’ Nite – Crookers Remix seems a little illogical have a remix on this album as well? No matter. It begins with 4/4 beats and crisp sounds and melodies. Soon enough, Kid Cudi’s rapped section and the elements of the original track are thrown into the mix. A chorus with the James Brown Funky Drummer breakbeat enter, and this piece gets going. Soon enough, a pseudo-Dubstep section enters after some time, along with alarm sounds as well. This is a poor remix to be fair, it just does not do justice to the original track. Good to have some variety, but aside from that, this is a poor effort overall. The original track was a far better effort, and to add a remix onto this album seems silly. It’s an awful idea for this track. Nonetheless, skip ahead if you wish. Mediocrity in a remix is what this is. It could have been cut down in length as well. Dreadful. It ends with sound effects and cut-up Kid Cudi vocals, a pathetic track.
T.G.I.F. features Chip Tha Ripper again. It begins with some interesting tripped out sounds and Rapping by the guest which is a huge improvement over the previous track. This is an interesting, if mediocre listen, once again. It just seems as though Kid Cudi ran out of inspiration after some intense drug binges at various points on this album. With more sexually oriented lyrics, this is fairly typical of a statement by a Rapper. It’s okay, but not sensational. It is a lot shorter though, fortunately.
Man On The Moon begins with an audible yawn before this tune enters and we enter a dream like state. This is definitely unusual, and it launches into a fairly average track towards the end of this album. This is not particularly memorable or that much worth your time, but the effort is appreciated here. It goes into an acoustic guitar based breakdown that is really cool, before launching into some digital sounding beats and some better lyrics in the second half of the album. A good effort to hear, even if it is not a historically great piece of music. A good but not great listen, Kid Cudi has made his point by this moment. It ends with the acoustic guitar strumming away in the background before concluding.
Is There Any Love is the last track on this album and features Wale. This begins with some basic beats and the two Rappers competing with each other for the spotlight. In any case, this is fairly basic and bland music to conclude this album with. This album is very patchy, and this is by far the worst piece on this whole album. The worst is left to the end it seems from Kid Cudi, which leaves a sour taste in the mouth. A very pathetic and boring piece of music, surely Kid Cudi could have done better than this and would have junked this rubbish? The album seems rushed and requires editing in general. Sadly, this song falls apart so easily upon listening. One of the naffest pieces of Rap music ever made, and that is saying something. Pathetic.
This is a very patchy album that, despite having some good tunes on it, is let down by some of the more appalling pieces of music here. Given that this album runs well over an hour, surely Kid Cudi could have established quality control on it here? Worth it if you are into Psychedelic Electronic Stoner music and for the main tracks that are popular, but otherwise, avoid it. Not the greatest Trip-Hop album ever, sadly.
Flawed but creative.