Kid Cudi’s album Man on the Moon: The End of Day lands in stores this week. Does the eagerly-awaited debut from Kanye’s protégé live up to the hype? Find out below.
Entertainment Weekly: Cudi turns out to be that rarest of rap phenomena: a hyped upstart who really does represent a promising new phase in the genre’s evolution. A-
USA Today: Kid Cudi piqued everybody’s interest writing and performing on Kanye West’s love-gone-bad opus 808s & Heartbreak. He surpasses his mentor with Man on the Moon: The End of Day, an introspective exploration of his demons and ambitions that is an even more fully realized concept album.
4 out of 4
Rolling Stone: The music is engrossing and Cudi’s angst genuine (he mourns his dead father), but his raps get pedestrian (Gray clouds up above, man/ Metaphor to my life, man”). And asserting ad nauseam that he is a “lonely stoner” is just annoying—a hipster boast masquerading as a confession.
3 out of 5
Los Angeles Times: Creative samples and an airy mix help these tracks surprise the listener, even after many plays, and make Man on the Moon: The End of Day a standout release. The one overly consistent element, unfortunately, is Cudi’s voice. His unhurried nasal flow is highly recognizable, but doesn’t quite convey the sly wit of precursors like Slick Rick and Snoop Dogg. 3 out of 4
The New York Times: Man on the Moon, the debut album from this rapper-singer from Cleveland, is a colossal, and mystifying, missed opportunity, misguided if it is in fact guided at all. Unlike most of the product featuring the touch of Mr. West, who is an executive producer here, Man on the Moon is imprecise and disjointed.
The Boston Globe: But it’s not rap. And that’s not a bad thing. Following Andre 3000’s The Love Below and Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak in a subset of experimental and emotional hip-hop, Man on the Moon might be the most fully-formed of them all. What he lacks in pure rapping ability Cudi more than makes up for with infectious melodies and powerful hooks. It’s more Fall Out Boy than Fabolous.
The Washington Post: Cudi’s beats are never less than lush, often overstuffed with ear-catching detail, shaming the cheap, mechanical beats of Soulja Boy-era hip-hop. Too bad Cudi’s heart-on-sleeve poetry is so awkward you want to cringe, as if you’re flipping through your junior high journal.
Rap-Up’s Favorite Tracks: “Soundtrack 2 My Life,” “Day ‘N’ Night,” “Make Her Say,” “Pursuit of Happiness”