KENDRICK LAMAR | DAMN.
Family Average: 4.8/7
Welcome to the first Family Review. Starting it off with Kendrick Lamar’s fourth studio album.
You may have heard some recent controversy over Kendrick at the Grammy’s, but these reviews were written months prior. Regardless, I think you’ll quickly see where most of our family stands on that.
Some people loved it, some people hated it, but almost everyone had a curse word to say about it. Let’s get started
Listen along on Spotify and check out what we had to say:
DAMN. This reinforced my belief that i do not particularly enjoy listening to rap music. I can appreciate it as a genre and once in awhile I surprise myself by liking a rap song. But DAMN this was terrible in my limited opinion with my very limited exposure to Rap music. DAMN…
1/7 Peace out….yo – Dad
Well produced, good lyrics and underlying messages as well as societal critiques. Clever use of voicemails to further messages. I like the critical Fox News samples. I also like the diversity with tracks such as “LOVE.”Successful dichotomies between tracks such as “PRIDE.” and “HUMBLE.” and “LOVE.” and “LUST.”
7/7 Great album, very needed, thank you Kendrick.
But honestly a pretty great album. I was more into the music backing up the vocals than anything else. Especially on the heavy opening tracks.
I enjoyed the hysteria and fear of losing the ability to continue to produce music that satisfies the expectations of his fans. It was a nice insight into a performer’s insecurity that we do not usually see especially in the rap genre
First track I heard, “BLOOD.” I liked because it reminded me of the techno infused music coming from Kevina’s room, or what he blasts through my car stereo on the way to surf practice, lol. The Lyrics, more than the music, on some tracks appealed to me. However, in some cases, like the track “ALRIGHT.” and “YAH.” I enjoyed both tremendously. Sadly, the song I liked the least featured Rihanna. Just expected something with more substance from two talented artists.
Kendrick Lamar took a gaggle of cliches that normally would piss you off and instead you find yourself loving it…so much it almost pisses you off. Tracks that are collaged with news bits, sound bites, voicemails, etc.. it could have all went too experimental but it somehow stays just grounded enough. And while he’s already an established artist it feels intimate. Like he’s bringing you and your uncomfortable white ass along on a journey. And you get lost in it. Its emotional. And its fucking good.
I didn’t expect much really from this album, and I was happy that the first song really just said fuck you to all of my preconceived notions; I have always been reluctant to listen to Kendrick for no reason but a personal bias that has no backing evidence. Needless to say am glad that I was, for lack of a better word, forced to listen to his new album.
His name is heavily lacking, completely absent, on any forms of composition and production which heavily rubs me the wrong way, once again a personal bias. If one wants to be an artist I feel that lyrics isn’t enough, but sadly this seems to be the meta of rap music.
5/7 If only music theory was in his DNA
Since I almost never listen to lyrics; and I don’t speak english [editors note: Serge does speak english, he’s just French], I never really got into the whole rap thing. This album hasn’t changed that. I’m sure it’s great for people who are into it though.
Just listening to the beats is a bit boring cause there’s not a lot there, no groove, no progression. Some like it minimalist, but I like my good drum and bass line, and it’s just not there.
Definitely not my usual wheelhouse but it was a great change of pace. Kendrick really bore his soul in this album. Almost all the songs are embedded with a strong sense of sorrow, defiance, and/or resolve along with a biting societal commentary. He had a lot to say and jammed each track with as much as he could.
Each song has it’s own mood, but they all have some degree of foreboding to them, which is fitting for the subject matters. The use of distortion lends well to this feeling, and the chorus brought a lot to the table.
Some songs were definitely weaker than others, but on the whole this is a solid album from start to finish.