With his last release, WZRD, Kid Cudi got experimental by teaming with producer Dot Da Genius and releasing what was his take on a rock album. While the reviews were mixed (we liked it, others didn’t), this would give us a glimpse into where he’d take his music next. On his new album, Indicud, the Kid builds off of the blueprint set on his first two records, with the indie sensibilities of the WZRD project, on perhaps his most experimental album yet.
Like much of his career, throughout Indicud, he either completely nails it, or severely misses the mark. The tracks on Indicud are much more sung than rapped, and at times, his brand of hypnotic, repetitive melodies sink deep into your skin. Two of the album’s singles cover the most base of topics – smoking (“Just What I Am”) and women (“Girls”) – but on both tracks his experimental style and futuristic production mesh perfectly together, and by the third or fourth listen, you’ll be signing right along. The same can be said for some of the album’s deeper cuts, like the semi-blasphemous, rock-tinged “Young Lady” or the grade-A collabo with Kendrick Lamar, “Solo Dolo Pt. II”, which finds the like-minded duo bringing out the best in their respective styles.
Kendrick’s appearance isn’t the only notable guest appearance. Too $hort is the perfect cherry on top for “Girls”, while RZA makes a surprising appearance on the Geto Boys-sampled “Beez”. The murky “Brothers” with King Chip and A$AP Rocky also works, yet the nine-minute closing track, “Afterwords (Bring Yo Friends)” with Michael Bolton – yes, that Michael Bolton – seems like a joke gone wrong. This track is just a Rick Astley appearance short of true internet trolling.
At 18 tracks deep, “Afterwords” could have been an afterthought, and left on the studio floor. Unfortunately, that statement is true for much of the album, which could have been cut down to a sparse, tight 10 tracks. Cudi’s style of crooning-until-you-croon-along unfortunately works against his favor, as well. Songs like “Unfuckwittable”, “Immortal”, and “King Wizard”, all feature memorable, singable hooks, but don’t necessarily resonate, and almost play like a broken record. Many times, it’s hard for this album to distinguish itself between each song, with several of the tracks running together, doing little to stand apart from each other. The 70′s swagger of “Cold Blooded” tries to rectify this, but sorely misses the mark.
Indicud is not a terrible album – it has it’s moments – but presents a pretty strong argument that moving on from the G.O.O.D. Music crew was the right move for both parties. In hindsight, Kanye may have envisioned using Cudi in a Drake-like role for his crew, singing hooks on every hit. But he has instead remained an outsider, playing Mr. Solo Dolo on the Cruel Winter album, and here as well. The title Indicud not only describes his musical influences, but also his lonely stoner persona.
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