Review: Man on the Moon II by Kid Cudi

Let me preface this by saying that I don’t know why I am reviewing this album because I generally dislike rap music; the majority of it is just too ostentatious and culturally deadening for my taste. But for some strange reason, I discovered this guy after a friend of mine encouraged me to listen to it. She told me, “He’s not like most rappers, he has a really cool style and his lyrics are pretty deep.” She then blasted “Pursuit of Happiness,” a compilation he did with MGMT and Ratatat (both of whom I enjoy). This lead me to further dig into his previous album Man on the Moon: The End of Day, and groove to some pretty legitimate songs like radio friendly “Day and Night” and “Up, Up and Away.”

After being arrested for drug possession this summer and purportedly having threatened to quit rapping and start a rock band, Kid Cudi released his second album titled aptly Man on the Moon 2: The Legend of Mr. Rager. Taking cues from the success of his previous songs, Cudi brings in talent like Cee lo Green, Kanye West, and Mary J. Blige. Kid Cudi has a knack for playing the mopey stoner in a lot of his songs. Scratching the depths of his angst, his second album, although more refined than its predecessor, has a lethargic feel to some songs like “Mr. Rager” and “The End.” He picks up the tempo on some loftier songs like “Erase Me” featuring Kanye ‘Swift-slayer’ West. This song definitely channels Weezer with its falsetto choruses and guitar rhythms. “Marijuana” hits the sad stoner tone once again, but has a steady beat and seems to be one of the more polished songs on the album. “Scott Mescudi vs. the World” has Cee lo Green doing the chorus. Being a fan of Green, this was a great compilation to hear and one of the stronger songs on the album.

Cudi then breaks off into a sort of reggae/angsty tone with “Revofev” (what depressive album is complete without a song inciting some sort of revolution?).  Blige accompanies Cudi on the song “These Worries,” drawing from some sort of seedy, psychedelic, 70’s bong water funk. Sadly the Cudi album begins to spoil as the rest of his songs gel into a steady stream of ‘Debbie Downer’ lyrics and similar beats.

The one thing I have to say about Kid Cudi is that he has a very versatile style, bouncing from pseudo rock to more soulful hit, to beat heavy rapping. Obviously he is experimenting with different styles and genres (hence his A.D.D rock band statements), but his second album is more polished than his first, and has a good mix of hit songs to make it enjoyable and novel. Just don’t listen to it while at the top of a tall building or while blow drying your hair in the bathtub.


Rating for Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager
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