kanye west – jesus is king

after years of wandering in the darkness with the intermittent “the life of pablo” and “ye”, kanye west offers his most cohesive artistic statement in some time with “jesus is king”.

Though short in duration Kanye’s delivery is stronger than it has been, like he’s finally tapped into his old Kanye energy. The compositions show off his incredible production chops, going from Steve Reich meets gospel on the gorgeous “Every Hour” complete with staccato vocals and resonant piano work, to the hushed mournful “Closed On Sunday”.

Kanye’s always been an obsessive sort with his arrangements but this album seems to truly highlight his deft hand.

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kaynewest portrait kaynewest with father

the undeniable power 

The power behind these tracks feels undeniable. His storytelling, the intense introspective, feels apropos for an artist who has literally reinvented the concept of self-love. Here though he takes the first steps towards exploring his budding faith. Enthusiasm here is undeniable it powers the entire journey.

rediscovery of one faith

Usage of faith as vessel means that these pieces go for the beginnings of faith, the immediate joys that come with rediscovery of one faith, better known as “born again”. Within the album Kanye delivers his lines about faith with such intensity and love. Highly passionate he incorporates hip-hop, pop, electro, gospel, and the blues into a coherent kaleidoscopic whole. Quite focused he never veers away from this journey as the album has a tenderness to it.

The immediate joys that come with rediscovery of one faith, better known as “born again”.

relationship with his father

“Every Hour” sets the tone for what follows, foregoing any electronic flourishes for a raw, live sound. Powerful percussion enters into the mix on the intense trip of “Selah”. The dusty samples of “Follow God” stuns despite its brevity. Here there’s a little look into his relationship with his father, one that explains his faith within this personal history.

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“jesus is king” presents a new version of kanye west

“on god” | highlight of the album

Virtually bursting with color is the neon-hued fluorescence of “On God”. By far the highlight of the album comes with the Frank Ocean referencing lushness of “Water”, with a bassline that is so infectious.

“use this gospel” | “jesus is lord”

Another highlight comes from the multifaceted approach of “Use This Gospel”. Neatly bringing the whole of the album to a close is the stripped-down intimacy of “Jesus Is Lord”.

“Jesus Is King” presents a new version of Kanye West, one more focused and punchier than expected, like seeing him see the light for the first time.

Rating: 4/5 claps

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