Album Review: Kids See Ghosts, Kids See Ghosts

Kids See Ghosts, song, album, and moniker of Kanye West and Kid Cudi’s duo released their debut album on the 8th of June 2018. You might have missed it. Third in G.O.O.D Music’s slew of five new albums and released into the turmoil of Pusha T’s infamous Story of Adidon response to Drake, innumerable faux-pas’ by Kanye, and Kanye’s own solo album released the week before, it should have been buried. The fervent happiness of the album, its shining 23 minutes, and the perfection of sampling and method, lacking in the other four G.O.O.D Music releases, raises it from the negative mire it should have drowned in. The pure optimism of the album is all the more affecting for the history of Cudi’s depression and Kanye’s own admission to schizophrenia.

The album is 7 songs long, as were the other G.O.O.D Music releases, but where DAYTONA fixated on the Pusha T’s history of drug dealing or sniped at other artists, and Ye rambled fears and justifications for recent tirades, Kids See Ghosts is focused on the future and hope for happiness. From Cudi’s first chant of “I can still feel the love” through to the album’s final “Stay strong” it is fired with the aspiration to overcome.

Rather than the defensive replies of Ye “Imagine if they caught me on a wild day” we have a stronger more personal response to Kanye’s scandalous behaviour and his insecurities behind them on Reborn:

Y’all bin telling jokes that what stress me out
Soon as I walk in, I’m like “Let’s be out”
I was off the chain, I was often drained
I was off the meds, I was called insane,
What an awesome thing, engulfed in shame.

The album’s production and tempo is spot-on. 4th Dimension samples a 1936 Christmas song finishing with a joking simplification of their method: “Just do that and then let the music do something, then do that again / That’d be enough for a record.” The disparate elements, even including an unreleased Kurt Cobain riff on Cudi Montage, are seamlessly orchestrated. Kids See Ghosts is one of the best albums released this year. With West’s announced Yandhi album pushed back until November we must hope his inspiration continues in the same euphoric vein as Kids See Ghosts and not the stale egotism of Ye.

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Daniel Morrison

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