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Kanye West – Jesus Is King

November 2, 2019

There is nothing more polarizing than a pop star finding Jesus. You repel the hipsters and attract – well – Don Jr.:

I felt compelled to give Kanye’s gospel album a fair listen. My musical hero, Bob Dylan, had a mind blowing Jesus period – as powerful a chapter as any in his bewildering career. Will Jesus inspire a masterpiece on the same level as My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy? I would argue that 2010 album was Kanye’s last truly great album.

Jesus Is King is not a masterpiece, but it is not a flop either. The album is an intriguing interpretation of gospel music. If you can look past the Jesus focus (is it any worse than a pop star in love or heartbroken – a muse is a muse), this is an interesting album. Gospel idioms and Kanye’s religious fire has sparked some artistic hip hop that is worthy of your ear’s attention.

My biggest criticism is that album feels unfinished. It is like like Kanye’s rough notes vs. an edited manuscript. Songs abruptly end smashing into the next track. The album is short (under thirty minutes). But Kanye is enough of a musical genius that even his doodles are interesting.

What is most distracting and annoying about when people are “born again” is that they think their faith is original – “I am the first guy to find a higher power.” It comes off narcissistic and self righteous. Kanye faith has those annoying features. But the the enthusiasm of his fresh faith is infectious. I am happy for Kanye that he has found something greater than himself. In the end I need to give this album a thumbs up.


From → Music Reviews

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