I was going to skip this album altogether.
Seriously, I was – and I’m not saying that to shock you or be provocative, there’s no shortage of records that I’m a lot more interested in covering than Kanye’s tangled mess of underwhelming contradictions that’ll be excused by diehard fans no matter what is said or done. And when you factor in Kid Cudi… well, I haven’t actually ever reviewed a Kid Cudi record in full, but I have heard a fair chunk of his discography and my general impression is a wealth of genre-blending musical ideas and interesting language, but often falling way short in terms of execution, leading to records that can be really intriguing but also extremely frustrating. Ambitious for sure, but the gulf between his best work and his worst is vast, and while his well-publicized mental state might make said projects explainable, it doesn’t really make them all that listenable.
That said, Kid Cudi and Kanye have managed to find wavelengths where their material has worked before, going back as far as 808s & Heartbreak, and the positive but varied critical reception to this project was intriguing, especially as critics have not held back when it has come to Kid Cudi in the past. And when you pair all of that with a certain overwhelmingly positive review that I don’t think anyone saw coming… look, basically for the health of my general operation I had to cover this and put it on my schedule myself, so how is Kids See Ghosts?