manonthemoon_aowALBUM:Man on the Moon: The End of Day

SOUNDS LIKE: A better 808's & Heartbreak, with popier hooks, and darker verses.

FUN FACT: The Clipse and Snoop Dogg were both slated to be featured on the album, back when the project was still titled Man on the Moon: The Guardians.

WHY COMPLEX IS CO-SIGNING IT: If you haven't noticed, we ride with Kid Cudi around here. He may be a bit overly emotional at times, yeah, but what do you expect from the kid who was handpicked by Kanye West to help mold his most melancholic album to date? That said, personal misgivings aside, Dat Kid from Cleveland has managed to make some great music in the short time the public has known him. His first hit single, an ode to being stoned, "Day N' Night" did a lot for him. It had him in every lounge and night club in New York, LA and Miami, got him a placement on one of the best songs on Jay-Z's Blueprint 3 and it placed him in a group of similarly aged rappers (you know who they are) who were pegged as the next to blow. After listening to his mystifying, atmospheric G.O.O.D. Music debut, we've come to the conclusion that Cudi has no desire to be considered the "Best New Rapper". He's on some completely different shit. And it's dope.

Kid Cudi has been labeled a rapper with the sole reason being there's really no other category into which he fits. He's not quite a singer, although he masterfully and melodically drags out his voice for his extremely catchy hooks and choruses that work well to make his mostly dark and brooding verses more palpable to pop audiences. That's not to say he can't put a rhyme together, it's just that his rapping is more like a hum with words. Whatever it is he does, it works well with the production found on Man on the Moon, mostly provided by his manager, Emile. Along with some other like minded contributors, Cudi was able to construct a completely cohesive (save for the Chip tha Ripper featured track, "Hyyer") sound for the album.

That sound shines on tracks like "Soundtrack to My Life," "In My Dreams (Cudder Anthem)", "Cudi Zone" (both produced by Emile) and the Ratatat produced track "Pursuit of Happiness" which could be described as a dreamy, weed smokers version of Drake's "Successful". This album is dark, don't get it twisted. Although the album starts off with Cudi welcoming us to his dream, the album finds him describing his fears to us: women with sideways motives, his family relations and all the trappings of fame. Which is worrying because with an album this good, we're pretty sure he's going to be a lot more famous than he is now.

KEY TRACKS

Soundtrack to My Life

Cudi Zone

Pursuit of Happiness ft. MGMT & Ratatat

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