Passion, Pain, & Demon Slayin’ Album Review
Released December 16, 2016
Genre: Alternative Hip Hop, Trap, Pop Rap
Kid Cudi’s discography is a massive, ambitious, and divisive one. Some love the alternative hip-hop simplicity of Man On The Moon II; some like the more rock-influenced Indicud; and for some reason, people like Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven. Cudi’s music creates worlds where is the master of every element; and his ability to maintain control over every aspect of his records is an admirable feat. However, Cudi’s worlds are an acquired taste; you’re either in or out.
On his latest offering, Passion, Pain, & Demon Slayin’, Cudi does not hold back – an 86-minute odyssey into the dark and eccentric psyche of Scott Mescudi. Sadly, despite the admirable amount of effort put into this record, the whole affair comes off as rather dull, and will hold little to no significance five years down to road. While this may be Cudi’s most focused effort yet since 2010, the songs here are too consistent, limited, and similar to even distinguish one from another. Too many times are songs structured around appreciating synths, trap hats, and Cudi’s mumbled vocals, that the result is rendered rather haphazardly.
This has held Cudi back, in retrospect; Cudi’s strongest point comes from his pop-influenced rock/rap fusions, or even his obscure yet stunningly realized tracks from his early days. Here, it’s difficult to distinguish track from track; the only standout is the ending track “Surfin'”, where the infectious melody and grooves is undeniably joyful. However, the outro section added on album cut is a disappointing extension of an otherwise decent track. Despite Cudi’s recent bout with mental health, it’s nice to him putting so much thought into his work; what doesn’t help is that a large chunk of it remains rather dull and insignificant.
Passion, Pain, & Demon Slayin’ is one of Cudi’s most focused projects, sadly it’s just too focused.
FAV TRACKS: Surfin’
LEAST FAV TRACK: Wounds