DAMN. - Kendrick Lamar (Album Review)

PhenomentalOne
Hi, to anyone who sees this.

It's been a long time since I've reviewed anything. You could say this was because of 2 reasons.

1. I was working on Stage 4.
2. I'm still not sure of my reviewing skills.

This review is gonna be way different than my other ones. I'm not gonna be doing this track-by-track. Instead, this is gonna be all over the place.

So, I like Kendrick Lamar. Heck, I love him.
And this is, musically, his best album by far. There you go, I've stirred up controversy.

"Wut iz rong wit u? TPAB iz da best. Go die. You need 2 lissen 2 actual music. All hail King Kendrick!"

I mean, this is another thing. I'm stuck in 'reviewer'. I want to get to 'critic'. But why am I even saying this? I should just continue with the review.

So, why do I like this so much? Well, I'm a R&B fan and this does have traces of that genre on it.

Lyrically, I'll admit this was weaker than TPAB. While TPAB dealt with discrimination, depression and fame, this has more religious influences on it. On most tracks, you can hear Kendrick complaining that nobody is praying for him. And as he finds out, his race is a cursed one and only people like him can save it. Which leads to the conclusion that he can't really get over all the obstacles the world throws at him until he gets over his own. Some tracks like GOD., ELEMENT., HUMBLE. and parts of DNA. show him enjoying his fame while tracks like LOVE., LOYALTY., FEEL. and PRIDE. also shows the insecurity he's been feeling because of it. Then there's BLOOD. which is severely underrated since its less of a song and more of a narrative and therefore doesn't serve much purpose. But then comes DUCKWORTH., at the end of which comes the 1st line of BLOOD., tying up the album in a cycle (or as the general verdict, a reverse cycle). Kendrick Lamar has always been famous for how he makes his albums cohesive and this time, he did it better. GKMC had little skits, TPAB had the poem (which I don't know why, but feel like it should've been a song) and DAMN. has the reverse theory.

Musically, I like 9 of the 14 songs here. There are certain (pun not intended) elements to each song that either make it shine for me or take it down. The spooky switch at the chorus of ELEMENT., the repetitive but catchy piano at HUMBLE. (I mean, it's the best you can expect from Mike WiLL Made-It. Actually, 2nd best), the unbreakable flow at verse 2 on DNA. (which I didn't like at first, but it grew on me. There you go, I've stirred up more controversy), the excellently-worked 24k Magic sample at LOYALTY. (which came as a surprise), the dark, grimy synths at LUST., the confusingly upbeat mood of FEAR. (I mean, look at the title), the police sirens and trap bounce at XXX. and finally, the switch of music between angelic and ghostly at LOVE., all make this the best-sounding album from him so far.

Overall, I love this album. Easily the best one of 2017 and one of the best rap albums of the decade.

Track Rankings
14. YAH. (Kendrick's dullest delivery of all time.)
13. FEEL. (The sample gave me nightmares, but the song is saved by Kendrick's energetic delivery)
12. PRIDE.
11. BLOOD.
10. DUCKWORTH.
09. GOD. (A guilty pleasure)
08. FEAR.
07. XXX.
06. LUST.
05. DNA.
04. LOYALTY.
03. LOVE.
02. HUMBLE.
01. ELEMENT.
Album Rating - 8.5/10

Comments

AY Great review. You did a good job at explaining your thoughts. - ProPanda

Also, you're more of a critic than I am, though I'm not sure that says much - ProPanda

P