Kanye West -'JESUS IS KING' Album Review
After the long and suspenseful wait for it to finally drop, Kanye West’s new album JESUS IS KING, if anything, is further proof that Kanye West knows how to be a brilliant producer. However, West hasn’t been able to hit the lyrical heights he previously hit in his career. Even while tackling themes of faith, fame and façade, West’s lyrics come off as immature and unsophisticated for the position and talent we’ve seen from Kanye previously.
The album embraces its religiosity from the word go, opening with a gospel piece by the Sunday Service Choir which Kanye had formed. The gospel aspects of this album are enjoyable but definitely not where the album shines. Instead, it’s songs like ‘Selah’ and ‘God Is" which truly highlight where this album shines.
One of the most frustrating songs on the album is ‘Closed on Sunday’, with some of the best production on the album, including soul-shaking synths. This song is reminiscent of something that might have come from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, with its brooding tone which is undercut by the lyrics. The references to “Chick-fil-A” are jarring at best and at worst incompatible with the tone of the song. This happens within multiple songs on the album
‘Use this Gospel’ is the penultimate song of the album and is relatively stripped back for Kanye featuring only vocals, piano and synth for a large portion of the song creating an incredibly soulful song with chant-able lyrics. However, during the second half of the song, there is a saxophone solo, which is a relaxing and soulful listen and is cohesive with the stripped-back sound of the song. Except it has an issue that repeatedly appears in the album; jarring and uncomfortable cuts between or within tracks. The number of songs that end randomly with seemingly no justifiable reason is astounding. Whether it has a purpose or was just intended to be clever, it simply throws out any sort of chance you had to sink into the production. The album just doesn’t flow very well.
Overall, this album is an enjoyable listen, I’ve been grappling with my issues with it since it dropped; listening to it repeatedly. Whether it’s the religious themes that are a cringe-inducing struggle to get through, or the weird production choices I would still recommend listening to this album at least once. Also, if Kanye drops instrumentals for the songs on this album, I would be totally on board for that.
Listen to it now below: