Here it is finally this new album from Kanye West which seemed never to see the light of day as it has been postponed many times. It seems that until the last minute, the American rapper altered this or that following listening sessions in stadiums redeveloped in a more than surprising way.
It is even said that the release this Sunday of Donda, title of this tenth opus, was premature. The fault with the record company, suggested the project manager. Hence this rumor that between the version available on online listening platforms and the one that will be offered on physical media, there could still be changes.
Donda is the second album that Kanye West dedicated to his mother, Donda West, who died in 2007. The first, 808s and Heartbreak, published the year following his death, had made him a super star with a more RnB and pop turn. Does the 2021 vintage follow in the same footsteps?
First observation: the US rapper let loose on Donda. The menu is generous to say the least with 27 titles, only two of which display less than 2 minutes on the counter. And by themselves, “Jesus Lord” and “Jesus Lord Pt.2” total respectively 8 minutes 58 seconds and 11 minutes 30 seconds. These are called pieces of bravery, even if they are not necessarily the most striking on the record.
Anyway, Kanye West delivers a work that flirts with two hours of listening. It is because he has things to say about it. On God, Jesus, faith and religion above all. Themes are omnipresent on Donda as on its previous productions for years. The titles “Jesus Lord” and “Jesus Lord Pt. 2” speak for themselves, as do “Praise God” and his sermon, as well as “God Breathed” and his choruses that are believed straight out of. a monastery. Add to that a release made on a Sunday, Lord’s Day, instead of Friday as is now customary in the recording industry.
Another essential theme: his highly publicized break with Kim Kardashian. It invites itself along the beaches with allusions. Notably in “Lord I Need You”. But also of the promo, which does not fail to surprise because the couple is in the process of divorce. However, Kim Kardashian was present during the listening sessions of Donda. She also spoke highly of this new album. His favorite tracks are “Come To Life”, “Lord I Need You”, “Hurricane” “OK OK pt. 2 ”and“ Donda ”, not to be confused with“ Donda Chant ”, the unbearable opening of the 52-second disc which, for little, makes you immediately give up everything that follows …
The good, the bad and other controversial featurings
Things to say, the rapper also has some on his mother to whom this album is therefore dedicated. And on the Canadian Drake, his worst nightmare it seems.
Generous in quantity and purpose, Kanye West, who now wants to be called Ye, is also in terms of guests. He is probably the only one who can bring together the dream team aligned with Donda. We meet Ariana Grande (“Donda”), The Weeknd and Lil Baby (“Hurricane”), Jay-Z (“Jail”), Travis Scott (“Praise God”), Young Thug (“Remote Control”), pop Smoke (“Tell The Vision”), Playboy Carti (“Junya” and “Junya pt. 2”), and many more. This casting is not, however, exempt from all reproach. A headline draws attention: “Jail pt. 2 ”and its featurings by DaBaby and Marilyn Manson. The first was deprogrammed during festivals because of the sexist and homophobic remarks he made. The second is the subject of several charges for harassment and especially rape. It makes a stain. As for Chris Brown, author and composer of the song “New Again”, he was convicted in 2009 for assault and battery on the person of Rihanna…
An album to tame
Listening, Donda does not avoid the pitfall often encountered with river albums like Sandinista ! from The Clash, for example. You end up getting lost in the maze. Too many titles, too much diversity, too much to remember and too little time to listen to the object calmly.
However, some titles do not come out. This is the case of the very inspired “’God Breathed”, of “Hurricane”, of “Jail” and its rock accents, of “Ok Ok” with its abysmal bass, of the bewitching “Moon” and of the nugget that is “Come to Life”. “New Again” also has its small effect despite the grievance related to Chris Brown mentioned above. Finally, the bass of “Believe What I Say” invites to party. that the text lends itself to it, which is not quite the case.
It is impossible to go around this main course that is Donda on first listen. Neither on the musical level, nor on that of the subject. We have to come back to it and take time to tame this album which had everything of an Arlesian, namely a record that we thought we would never see materialize.