Kid Cudi has been making waves recently with his spacey, left-field brand of introspective hip hop, and all the naval gazing has finally culminated in this debut LP, executive produced by Kanye West. <i>Man On The Moon</i> is an album in the purest since of the word, a completely cohesive statement that barely wavers, despite the fact that multiple producers contributed content to the record. Additionally, the album is divided into five acts, each containing a handful of tracks. Many of the beats feature lush arrangements, featuring dense synth patches and orchestral string arrangements ("Soundtrack 2 My Life," and the OMD sampling "Simple As...," for example). Indie/electronic duo Ratatat earn proper hip hop production credits here, contributing beats for "Alive" and "Pursuit Of Happiness," the latter of which also features indie pop stars MGMT on the hook. Examples of Cudi's darker, spacier side show up on "Solo Dolo," "In My Dreams," and the little single that could, "Day N' Night." The album isn't all doom and gloom though, with "Enter Galactic" and current single "Make Her Say" providing some upbeat moments. The double LP comes packaged in a nice gatefold sleeve with artwork that was, according to the liner notes, painted by Kid Cudi himself. While it might not be loaded up with club bangers, it's filled with some great new ideas that make for a refreshing listen. Highly recommended.
- music label: Universal / 2009
reviewed by Hires 09/2009