Matt’s Music Review: Donda

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Kanye West’s 10th studio album “Donda” has a 32 song tracklist totaling to a total 2 hours and 11 minutes. Starting with a strong start with songs like “Hurricane” with The Weeknd singing the chorus, and Lil Baby with probably one of my favorite features on the album. Kanye West’s verse was okay but not as good as his verse on “Life of the Party” which features Andre 3000 and finishes with a sample that reminded me of Kendrick Lamar’s Song “Sing about Me/Dying of Thirst” On “Good Kid M.A.A.D City”.
Another great mention at the beginning of this project is track 7 “Praise God” which in my opinion has one of the best beat drops in recent years, on par with the beat drop on “Father Stretch My Hands Pt.1” on Ye’s 7th Studio Album “The Life of Pablo”.
Heading into the middle of the album it’s not that the songs are bad, it is just difficult to carry the momentum and stay on par with the beginning of the project. Especially with some tracks like “Tell the Vision” that had lots of potential with the song having recently deceased rapper Pop Smoke featured. But the production just doesn’t match the rest of the project at all with an ominous piano looping throughout the song. And the filters on the vocals make Pop Smoke sound like he’s rapping over a laptop microphone.
Not all the tracks are bad though, for example, “Keep my Spirit Alive” which has a great chorus sung by Kanye and great verses from Conway the Machine and Westside Gunn who’s verse and rapping style reminded me a lot of Chance the Rapper’s Debut album “10 Day”.
Going into the end of the project it’s finishing tracks are pretty good and do redeem the entire middle section. Some of my personal favorite songs include “Jesus Lord” with lots of great lyricism from Kanye talking about heavy topics about the horrendous conditions in Special Housing Units (SHU) and gang violence. “New Again” is also a great song near the end of the project, and does a great job of lifting the mood of the album with a more joyous chorus.
Overall “Donda” as a whole was pretty good. Certainly not as good as other Kanye West albums like “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” or “The Life Of Pablo” but certainly not the worst. I don’t think this is due to only Kanye though, the public’s view of his music especially before “Donda” has not been the best since the release of his project “Jesus is King”. So the hype for this project was built with suspense even before Kanye’s odd and unorthodox marketing tactics, which included living in a stadium and finishing the Album there.
After listening and analyzing this entire album I would rate it a 6.5/10.