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Marcus Reviews WZRD by Kid Cudi and Dot da Genius

23 Feb

The Arrival: The album opens up with a very omnious and sparse instrumental featuring a simple guitar riff backed by some spacy synths, some 808s and a cinematic strings as it progresses on. It’s exactly the type of opener you’d expect out of Cudi and does a good job of setting the tone for the album. (No Rating)

 

High Off Life: Still riding the vibe of the opener, this track opens with an electric guitar and builds into a beat somewhat reminiscent of “We Will Rock You” as Cudi sings (with some slight vocoder-like altering) about being High Off Life. There’s nothing necessarily spectacular about this track but I wouldn’t say that it’s skip worthy either. I could definitely see this being a hit live. (3.5/5)

 

The Dream Time Machine: On this track Cudi croons over a spacey instrumental about how everything in his life seems like a dream now. If any OG Cudi fans were turned off by the rock vibe of the first track this will bring them right back in as it sounds like something off of the first Man on the Moon album. Very chill track that’s easy to vibe with. (4.5/5)

 

Love Hard: Switching back into rock mode, Cudi sings “If you love soft, then you’ve already lost/But if you love hard, then let down your guard and follow your heart” over a guitar riff that you could’ve heard in rock songs back in the 80s-90s. Half way though the song though it evolves into a euro-pop dance beat and then closes out the track by blending the two genres. Catchy track with some pretty dope production. I could see this working as a single. (3.5/5)

 

Live & Learn: Cudi encourages us to live our lives but to always learn from our mistakes over a lighthearted garage rock instrumental that I could definitely hear on an N.E.R.D. album. Towards the end of the the track, just like the song before it, it turns into a dubstep-esque jam to bring it all home. Yet another song that won’t change anyone’s life but catchy and easy to listen to nonetheless. (4/5)

 

Brake: This track leaked a while ago to mixed reviews from critics and Cudi fans alike (I wasn’t really feeling it myself) but after hearing it again it’s kind of grown on me. For those that haven’t heard it, Cudi and Dot Da Genius get their Psychedelic Rock this one. Cudi slurs melodically over a distorted and trippy psych-rock instrumental (I could definitely hear Sleigh Bells doing a song like this) stating that even if he has no direction he won’t “break”. It’s one of the few songs on the album that you’ll either really like or hate. I for one have grown to like it. (3.5/5)

 

Teleport 2 Me, Jamie: I’ve been a fan of this one ever since the snippet came out months ago. Over a low-key electro-rock instrumental (sampling “Under Your Spell” by Desire from the Drive Soundtrack) Cudi sings about how he longs for the presence of his girlfriend and how he wishes that she could just teleport to him. Along with The Dream Time Machine, This is the only other track on the album that is reminiscent of Cudi’s previous work on the MotM albums and it’s probably also the most radio ready song on the album (thus the reason why it’s the first single). (4.5/5)

 

Where Did You Sleep Last Night?: On what’s probably the biggest deviation from Cudi’s normal style, he tells the story of an enigmatic woman that he had a romantic fling with that may or may not have killer her husband and disappeared over a country rock style instrumental. This is definitely bound to be one of the more polarizing tracks on the album. I myself quite like it and respect Cudi for doing something so different. Good music to drive to. (4/5)

 

Efflictim: With nothing but an acoustic guitar and a piano serving as a backdrop, Cudi asks his girl the famous attention seeking question, “What you would do if you found out that I was dead”, and then revisits the previously touched upon anecdote about how life’s too short to not make things right. There’s nothing really wrong with this song but it’s definitely a filler song. (3/5)

 

Dr. Pill: Cudi takes his second crack at psychedelia, but this time with a bit of a metal edge, as sings about not feeling like himself and pleads to “Dr. Pill” to make him feel better. In my opinion this is the weakest track on the album in terms of subject matter and production. Not really a fan. (2.5/5)

 

Upper Room: On the album closer Cudi gets a little philosophical as he sings about his belief in God (thus the “Upper Room”) having a destiny for all of us but most people are too pussy to pursue their own backed by a fitting instrumental complete with flighty synths and strings. Like Cudi’s previous albums even though they’re some darkness throughout, we end on a high note with a little hope in our hearts. Solid track that I’m sure will inspire some people to get out there and pursue their dreams. (4/5)

 

Closing Thoughts:

Going into this album alot of Kid Cudi fans had some heavy doubts and worried that this album would turn out to be yet another rapper’s failed attempt at doing another genre. While my doubts weren’t as strong as others might’ve been they were still there nonetheless, but after listening to the album a couple of times through I can honestly say that it turned out to be alot better than I thought it would be. Unlike fellow rapper turned “rocker”, Lil Wayne, Cudi actually seems like he has a genuine appreciation for the genre and took some time to study it’s various styles. With that being said this is far from a GREAT album. Where this album truly suffers to me is in the songwriting. Most of the lyrics are very amateur and weak and if it weren’t for Cudi’s penchant for melody they would’ve mostly likely completely fallen flat. What this album lacks in subject matter though it more than makes up for in production. You can tell that Dot Da Genius and Cudi took their time out to make sure this album sounded they way they wanted it to and it really shows because they sound like a well oiled machine. It’s the musical backing that really makes Cudi’s vocals work on the album. While this will most likely never end up on anyone’s “Top 100 Best Rock Albums of All Time” list, it’s a pretty well made album and could serve as a solid entry into the rock genre if Cudi decided to go full time with it. If anything Cudi deserves some respect for actually taking time out and making this ambitious project work. Kudos to you Mr. Mescudi, kudos to you.

Lyrics: 2.75/5

Production: 4.5/5

Overall: 3.5/5

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