Wednesday 30 Jul
 
 

Sobering sounds

Copperheads with Depth & Current, Dudes of America and Oblivious

10 p.m. Saturday

Opolis

113 N. Crawford Ave., Norman

opolis.org

447-3417

$7

07/30/2014 | Comments 0

Pony expression

Wild Ponies

8 p.m. Sunday

The Blue Door

2805 N. McKinley Ave.

bluedoorokc.com

524-0738

$15

07/30/2014 | Comments 0

Music Made Me: Josh Hogsett

Few, if any, Oklahoma bands have seen a rise as meteoric as Tallows over the past year, yet its seemingly overnight ascension didn’t happen by chance. The Oklahoma City four-piece is well-versed in the ways of modern pop songwriting, drawing from both glitchy electronica and cathartic indie rock in equal measure. Last year, the band pulled off a rare musical feat with its debut album, Memory Marrow, which was steeped heavily in the breadth of recent history yet managed to sound like nothing else before it.
07/30/2014 | Comments 0

Planting the seed

Chelsey Cope’s new band, Elms, is as earthy and native to Oklahoma as the trees that are their namesake. The soulful folk four-piece’s debut EP, Parallel Lines, was recorded at Bell Labs Recording Studio in Norman and is on its way in September. But the band has already given us a tease, with its first single, “Burn,” going live on SoundCloud on July 14.
07/22/2014 | Comments 0

Commercial rock

Center of the Universe Festival featuring Capital Cities, Young The Giant, AWOLNATION & more
Friday-Saturday
Downtown Tulsa 
centeroftheuniversefestival.com 
$35-$50 

07/22/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Reviews · Hip Hop/Rap · G.O.O.D. Music — Cruel...
Hip Hop/Rap
 

G.O.O.D. Music — Cruel Summer


Ryan Querbach September 24th, 2012

Kanye West and his G.O.O.D. Music crew have finally dropped their long-awaited compilation album, Cruel Summer. It has its moments, but overall falls short of the high expectations that come with any Kanye project.

cruelsummer

With outstanding talent like Kanye, John Legend, Kid Cudi, Pusha T, Common and Mos Def on the G.O.O.D. label, there’s no reason that Cruel Summer shouldn’t be near-perfect, but that is far from the case.

Too much input from 2 Chainz and Big Sean — each of whom has his bright points, but often comes up short — keeps the disc from reaching a high level. Similarly, a lack of input from outstanding rappers Mos Def and Common raises concerns. Add in questionable features from the likes of R. Kelly, Ma$e, Chief Keef and DJ Khaled, and it’s clear that the project has its problems. Also alarming is that the album, with 10-plus artists, only has 12 tracks, at least five of which were released previously.

Cruel Summer is packed with posse songs like singles “Clique” and “Mercy,” and while these are entertaining, they get old fast. The bulk of the lyrical content focuses on played-out subjects like money, clothes, drugs and women. This isn’t overly surprising, given the frequent appearances from the likes of Big Sean, Kanye and 2 Chainz, but it’s disappointing nonetheless.

This is an area where Common and Mos Def could have contributed positively, but save for one appearance by Common, they are nowhere to be found. A few of the songs, like Kanye’s “Cold” and Cudi’s “Creepers,” escape the posse feel, but are sure to leave you wanting more.

Regardless of the disappointments, the album does have its high points, including a few solid guest spots from the likes of Raekwon, Jadakiss and Jay-Z. The production for the project — handled by the likes of Hit-Boy, Mannie Fresh and Kanye himself — is pretty strong for the most part. Pusha T shines throughout, his lyrical technique apparent the whole time. His talents earned him the most appearances of anyone besides Kanye, landing him on five of the 12 tracks.

One of the better songs, “The Morning,” is actually a good example of a posse cut. It features a reggae-sounding hook from Nigerian singer D’banj, a smooth break from Cudi and strong verses from Raekwon, Common, CyHi Da Prynce, 2 Chainz, Pusha and Kanye. While most of the posse songs are lacking, this one is smooth and doesn’t disappoint.

Also strong is Kanye and Pusha’s “New God Flow.” It includes high-powered rapping by two of hip hop’s heavyweights over a hard-hitting beat. The R&B oriented song “Bliss” by John Legend and Teyana Taylor is solid as well, featuring a smooth beat and fantastic vocals. The album could have benefited from more songs like these. While many of the songs seem rushed or poorly put together, these three give a view of what could have been.  

Like most Kanye-affiliated projects, this one has received and will receive mixed reviews, but in the end, it just seems to come up short. Perhaps the best way to describe Cruel Summer is better than average, but far from great. —Ryan Querbach


 
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