Man on the Moon: The End of Day
Motown; Release date: Aug. 25, 2009
The Deal: The "emo guy" from hip-hop's freshmen class drops his long awaited debut.
The Good: Let's just skip the singles. "Day 'N Nite" and "Make Her Say" were both dope; both stick out with the dream theme of the album, but they're hot nonetheless. "Soundtrack 2 My Life" and "My World" stand out in "The End of Day" + "Rise of the Night Terrors" Acts. Acts III-V are where Cudi actually looks at the bright side.
"Sky Might Fall," a track when the downer finally casts his worries away, produced by Kanye West, and "Enter Galactic (Love Connection, Pt. 1)," a spacey, electro-pop, love song produced by the ILLFONICS Matt Friedman lift the album out of the fog. "Alive (Nightmare) features electronic duo Ratatat and Cudi crooning that "every time the moon shines, I become alive." "Cudi Zone" comes on like a "Love In This Club" knock off but finishes uniquely his own. "Pursuit of Happiness (Nightmare)" sees MGMT lend its touch to a track that may crossover into both fan bases (still don't know about it being the third single).
"Hyyerr," an smooth track to ride to that will put you in the mind of fellow Cleveland natives Bone Thugs N Harmony and their sound, and "Up, Up & Away" are for the smokers, both good grooves.
Cudi could win an award for best use of guest appearances, with Billy Cravens, Ratatat, MGMT, Kanye, Common and even Chip The Ripper all enhancing the tracks they jumped on. Plus Common's chapter segues weren't terrible either.
The Bad: I've heard of music as therapy but damn, Cudi is Debbie Downer from the beginning of the album. Keep your phone close by to call a friend during Acts I & II (Tracks 1-6) because they may make you feel pretty low (except for the previous mentioned songs). Thankfully, the album does gain steam but most listeners will jump ship before "the good part." You never want to knock an artist that tries too hard but at times the material comes of forced, like he's going to force me to feel what he feels. What's the deal with a five-act album anyway?
The Verdict: It's depressingly dope. Strange at first but very listenable. Artists usually don't come out the gates with a truly introspective, concept album. Bold debut, don't know if the label liked it but looking beyond the singles, it's a stellar first take (plus the bonus material from the iTunes download makes it well worth the double-click).