Jesus is King Review

Kanye’s return extremely disappointing


Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

     Kanye West released his latest album, Jesus is King, on October 25, 2019. A proclaimed gospel album, strays exponentially far from past Kanye projects. Coming off the heels of the sheer amount of content Kanye released in 2018, he hyped up the release of a now-cancelled project under the title of Yhandi, but as the original release date came, and passed, Kanye kept pushing back the release of the highly-anticipated album. After silence about Yhandi, it was given up on by the music community, and then cancelled soon after, leading to the unveiling of a new, Christian centered gospel album.

     The album hosts 11 songs, and with few stand-out songs it’s hard to say this album is decent. The aforementioned songs that stand out are Selah, Follow God, On God, and Use This Gospel (which features a phenomenal sax solo by jazz artist Kenny G that sends chills down my spine everytime I listen to it) and they all stand out for different reasons.

     Selah is a special song, from the beating drums when Kanye is stating bible verses to the chorus of hallelujahs that make up most of the song. However the lyric “Everybody wanted Yandhi, Then Jesus Christ did the laundry,” makes me so irrationally upset because there are so many better ways Kanye could’ve taken the rhyme.

     Follow God is special due to how much it feels like old Kanye, with verses and flow that remind me of his album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and makes me miss old Kanye. The song tells a story of everything Kanye did that his father deemed “unchrist-like”.

     Sandwiched between “Follow God” and “On God” is the worst song on this album. Everything about the song, Closed on Sunday, pisses me off. The singular redeeming quality of this song is the guitar backing track, everything else puts the image of a dumpster-fire in my mind. The main chorus is “Closed on Sunday, you my Chick-Fil-A” is so lackluster that I cannot see Kanye spending any time writing this song, especially compared to the song after it, On God. Kanye yelling “Chick-Fil-A” at the very end of the song makes me feel repulsed due to the entire song seeming like a corporate scheme to pedal more oily and wet sandwiches.

     On God is similar to Follow God where it reminds me of old Kanye, with how clean and driving the synth behind Kanye’s cutting flow. Kanye seems to have lost the ability to write decent lyrics, but the instrumentals and sound of this song make it so great to listen to.

     While the album only has four amazing songs, and the rest are mediocre (excluding Closed on Sunday), it causes the anticipated project to seem lackluster and rushed. Seeing Kanye go down this path makes me worried, but seeing as Kanye can still produce a few amazing songs makes me hope he can trim the fat from Jesus is King for any future projects. Closed on Sunday makes this album go from decent to subpar, which is a major bummer that one abhorrent song can ruin the rest of this project.