For those who have a good memory, a few months a go we placed KiD CuDi‘s last solo effort Indicud on our most disappointing albums of the year list. He then replied to us on Twitter, promising that he’s growing and he’ll get us back on board next time around, simultaneously awakening the wrath of his fans. Now we’re back with another CuDi project on our hands, an ambitious effort that he dropped unexpectedly a-la Beyonce. The projects a mix of new songs and instrumentals and was a concept that initially started as an EP. Bearing that in mind, our hopes weren’t high, anticipating a rushed and messy album filled with the poor production that plagued Indicud.
However… we were wrong. Well, almost. This time around, the album is 100% CuDi (apart from lone guest Raphael Saadiq) and that’s what’s most important about Satellite Flight. Whereas Indicud was littered with features, some of which outshone CuDi, this is most definitely a KiD CuDi record. Tracks like “Too Bad I Have To Destroy You” are trademark him, with bleak and lonely lyrics (“I thought you were my brother, I thought you were my sister”) sung in angst, against a hopeful and optimistic instrumental. It’s a juxtaposition only Cudder can pull off.
The albums title track “Satellite Flight” wouldn’t sound out of place on his debut album – it’s the most “rap” CuDi gets on the album. Guitar-laden “Going To The Ceremony” shows how his musicality and production have increased ten-fold since Indicud. This time around the instrumental pieces don’t feel forced or out of place either. On every album he releases, CuDi always focuses on a narrative – this ones no different and the instrumentals only add to the spacey and tripped out journey. “Return Of The Moon Man” genuinely sounds like a film score, straight out of a dire action scene in a Sci-Fi movie. It’s like Bernard Herrmann meets TNGHT. The albums obvious standout however, is the Raphael Saadiq-assisted “Balmain Jeans”. One would expect it to be a stunting song about clothes, but it’s actually a gorgeous love song. CuDi’s pained vocals (“keep feeling on me”) next to Saadiq’s sweet ones make for a great contrast and the production on this one is actually exceptional, with a glaring horn and spacey synths.
Despite all this, the album still leaves a lot of room for improvement. There’s still the occasional whiff of amateurism in CuDi’s production and we’d like to see him start branching out and working with outside producers again. He may have crafted his own distinct and signature sound, but that has possibly compromised the quality of his records. Kudos, however CuDi. You’ve almost won s back. See yo again for Man On The Moon 3.
Highlights: Balmain Jeans (ft. Rapheal Saadiq) – Too Bad I Have To Destroy You – Return Of The Moon Man