Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Post Rock Archive  |  About the Bloggers  |  E-mail: Click Track  |  On Twitter: Click Track  |  RSS Feeds RSS

Album review: Kid Cudi, "Man on the Moon 2: The Legend of Mr. Rager"

By Allison Stewart

kid cudiKid Cudi sounds down and out. (Kyle Gustafson/FTWP)

There's something wrong with Kid Cudi.

He's taken up the guitar, for one thing. When rappers do this, it brings back bad memories of Lil Wayne's "Rebirth." Other bad signs: Cudi's summer arrest for drug possession, and his threat to quit rapping and start a rock band.

Cudi's mopey and mystifying sophomore disc alleviates many of these worries and brings up others. Working the same strange groove Cudi dug for himself on his standout '09 debut, "Man on the Moon: The End of Day," it cements his rep as a depressive stoner with a singsongy mumble and a tendency to pile on enough psychedelic noises, nods to '90s alt-rock nostalgia and well-curated samples to make his albums unceasingly novel, if not necessarily enjoyable.

"Mr. Rager" is smarter, more diverse and more ambitious than its predecessor, though it's claustrophobic and often joyless. A concept album about -- what else? -- fame and its discontents, "Rager" plumbs the bottomless depths of Cudi's existential angst.


There are happy exceptions: The faux-reggae "REVOFEV" is the cheery call to revolution without which no stoner disc would be complete; "We Aite (Wake Your Mind Up)" was made for planetarium laser shows.

But it's not long before "Rager" curdles, turning from moody and atmospheric to dark and self-pitying. The ghostlike Cudi limits his verses on some tracks and is so low-energy on others that it's enervating just listening to him.

"Rager" perks up in the presence of guest stars like Kanye West (on the Weezer-aping "Erase Me") and Mary J. Blige, who provides consolation and cheer on the excellent, space-age-meets-'70s joint "These Worries." When the queen of hip-hop misery sounds happier than you, it's a bad sign indeed.

Recommended tracks: "Erase Me," "These Worries"

By Allison Stewart  | November 9, 2010; 10:30 AM ET
Categories:  Quick spins  | Tags:  Kid Cudi  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Album review: "Coal Miner's Daughter: A Tribute to Loretta Lynn"
Next: Singles file: Michael Jackson, Wise Blood, Travis Barker, Colin Munroe and Rihanna

Comments

Agreed but your comment was foolish comparing him to Lil Wayne. Man On the Moon II has my respect.

Posted by: yojaredd | November 10, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Agreed but your comment was foolish comparing him to Lil Wayne. Man On the Moon II has my respect.

Posted by: yojaredd | November 10, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company