This week we continue our newly released album review with
Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.
Review: Jamie Read.
With ability like Kendrick Lamar’s, it’s no surprise that he’s been a first-choice feature for many artists.
Lamar has hooked listeners with his words on tracks by artists such as Sia, Beyonce, Kanye West and The Weeknd.
Therefore DAMN. feels like one of the most anticipated releases of 2017. No longer do we just have to hear snippets of this man’s brilliance.
The album opens powerfully with BLOOD. The work depicts complex religious imagery within a tale of Lamar trying to help a blind woman, overcoming the album’s themes of wickedness and weakness while also helping the black community.
He celebrates his black heritage on DNA and scolds those who oppress it.
“I got loyalty, got royalty inside my DNA.”
The album features much in the way of politics and religion. A gospel start from Steve Lacy on PRIDE is followed by personal admissions from Lamar about his faith and how he still makes mistakes. Religion is intertwined with urban life on HUMBLE, as he asks people to accept his superior stature. It’s difficult to argue with this view with XXX. A minimal use of U2 on this politically intense track sees Bono become the voice of experience within all of Lamar’s strong lyrics on the state of America and the world.
Rihanna impresses with Lamar on LOYALTY, discussing the importance of faithfulness in relationships.
The music of LUST is my favourite on the album, along with a smart metaphor for desires with a metaphor about thirst and needing water.
Truth is, Kendrick Lamar has created something worth much more than a few hundred words. To really understand his words and message, this is a must listen.
Overall star rating: 5/5
Songs to play on repeat: BLOOD, DNA, PRIDE, LOYALTY, LUST, DUCKWORTH