Let’s start by stating the obvious: It’s far too soon to have a fully-formed, rock solid opinion about an album as complex as Kendrick Lamar’s Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers.
Kendrick fills his songs with so much symbolism and nuance that it takes a long time to fully absorb the music, so we will wait to publish an in-depth review of the album at a later date. With that being said, first-listen thoughts are an integral part of the listening experience. Over time, opinions change and evolve, but there’s something special about the first time that new music hits your ears. With that in mind, the Complex Music team wrote down some of our first-listen thoughts about the album. We’ll be publishing more analysis in the days and weeks to come (and you can read a breakdown of the album’s major themes here) but for now, here’s how the music hit us within the first 24 hours.