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Indicud: mixed product and mixed reviews

Miko Malabute | Tuesday, April 16, 2013

 

 

As I sat listening to Kid Cudi’s newest release to write this review, my friend David asked me what I was listening to. 

“Kid Cudi’s newest album. Just came out.”

“Oh, no way. What’s it called?”

“‘Indicud.'”

“Oh, God, no.”

To be fair, David had an excellent point. Following Cudi’s last misplaced effort at imitating a musical purist, “WZRD,” it was really easy to have our reservations about Cudi’s newest independent release. With “WZRD,” Cudi had a compilation of spacey, out-of-character tracks that alienated us as fans of the man behind “Man on the Moon” both “MOTM” and “MOTM II.” Then, without warning – let alone apology – Cudi decided to continue to forge on forward and asked his fans to continue to follow along on his journey away from “Mr. Rager” to this new “Indicud.”

A look into the very beginning of the album doesn’t really seek to ease my own discomfort as a fan, as this foreign, unfamiliar territory Cudi has squatted in continues to manifest itself in his sound. To me, the opening track, “The Resurrection of Scott Mescudi,” feels like anything but. Rather, this song feels like it is no longer Kid Cudi, but rather Adolescent-Individualistic-Rebellious Cudi. He seems to be absolutely begging for an audience to acknowledge he’s different and doesn’t follow the mainstream. Grow up (or down, I guess), Cudi, because this isn’t you. Just stop trying to prove how hip you are. 

Two tracks down, and I’m smiling in spite of what I’ve heard thus far because of the familiar sounds of the determined, steady synths. Cudderisback. The song “Just What I Am” re-unveils an unashamed, unabashed Cudi in his element. This is the Cudi we all love, poking his chest out, saying “I’m what you made God, [expletive], yes, I’m so odd.”

Now, this is not to say Cudi has decided to take out a page from his own bestseller “MOTM” book with “Indicud.” This is still Cudi’s realm of confusion. For every song like “Young Lady” (featuring Fr. John Misty) that shows glimpses of Cudi’s light-hearted, fun-loving, musical self, there are also songs that leave me scratching my head. Songs like “King Wizard” and “Mad Solar” feature a Cudi that seems to almost try too hard. The beats are often underwhelming and repetitive. Guest features here and there from RZA in “Beez,” Kendrick Lamar in “Solo Dolo Pt. II” and Michael Bolton and King Chip in “Afterwards (Bring Yo Friends)” truly allow this project to shine and showcase Cudi’s versatility. But it still feels like there are more than a handful of songs that need to be grown into. 

“Indicud” is a mixed product, one that I enjoy in its most brilliant moments and shy away from during its most obscure. Cudi might have morphed into a new artist, one that feels at times frustratingly inconsistent, yet there is still enough here to keep me interested. So, congratulations, Cudi. You’ve shown your fans you’ve done a bit of growing. Now, what’s next? 

Contact Miko Malabute at mmalabut@nd.edu