independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Hip-hop a cut above the norm

Album Review: Indicud (Island) ***

Any rapper who has the chutzpah to seek out a collaborator as naff as Michael Bolton deserves to be heard – and that's exactly what Kanye West's former protégé, Kid Cudi, has done on this third album. And you know what? The soft rock pin-up doesn't disgrace himself on Afterwards (Bring Yo Friends) which also features one of Cudi's more regular guests, King Chip.

Indicud is as much about rock as it is about hip-hop, although Cudi's braggadocio that he's made an album as daring as Dr Dre's 2001 is just idle talk. Still, there is no shortage of moments when his intelligent hybridised rap is a cut above the norm: the super-catchy Immortal finds him gunning for the masses, while Cold Blooded is a pulsating, heart-thumping statement of intent.

He shows real ambition on the dark, twisted nine-minute Afterwards, but doesn't quite have the ingenuity to make it truly essential.

Other tracks are more miss than hit. There's a so-so collaboration with the all-female rock trio Haim (Red Eye), although he's on surer ground with former Fleet Foxes member Joshua Tillman, who goes under the Father John Misty moniker (Young Lady).

Key tracks Immortal; Cold Blooded

Irish Independent

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