Donda by Kanye West album review by Adam Fink for Northern Transmissions

GOOD Music/Def Jam Recordings

8

Donda

Kanye West

In what could be the final version Of Kanye West’s Donda, (he has claimed the album was released without his approval), which could lead to another version. We never know what to expect from the eccentric artist. The current version is now out on streaming services.

Donda, Donda, Donda. The first track on the tenth studio album from Kayne West is just his mother’s name repeated over and over. Over the next hour and 48 minutes we get a distillation of everything this public persona and artist has gone through over the last few years. From mental illness to religious beliefs and personal heartbreak, There’s few artists that can sell out arenas just to vibe out on their own records but Kanye has done that. The rollout of Donda has been somewhat curious. Kayne as Phantom Of The Opera haunting the Mercedes Benz arena in Atlanta while trying to finish his latest opus. He even said that Universal put out this version of the album without his permission. We don’t know if Donda is the record Kayne intended to put out but it’s the one we got and it’s epic and interesting and produced impeccably.

Right off the top, it’s immediately captivating. After “Donda Chant” we are treated to “Jail” featuring Jay Z himself. “Hova and Yeezus, like Moses and Jesus/You are not in control of my thesis/You already know what I think ’bout think pieces//Before you ask, he already told you who he think he is”. This is actually the thesis of the album. We all have an idea in our head of who Kanye is and what he is capable of but you have to listen to the music he makes before fully judging, “Hurricane” featuring The Weeknd captures how much of an amazing producer West is. It is a big, giant hit and one that solidifies Kayne and The Weeknd as a couple of the most interesting artists currently working today. The album is full of outstanding guests. Besides Jay-Z and The Weeknd, the album features Syleena Johnson, Francis and the Lights, Vory, Playboi Carti, Fivio Foreign, Baby Keem, Travis Scott, Lil Durk, Lil Yachty, Young Thug, Don Toliver, Kid Cudi, Ariana Grande, Tony Williams, Conway The Machine, KayCyy, Westside Gunn, The LOX, Jay Electronica, Swizz Beatz, the late Pop Smoke, Roddy Ricch, Shenseea, Sunday Service, Rooga, Ty Dolla $ig as well as Marilyn Manson, Chris Brown and Da Baby making the whole endeavour feel so uncomfortable. The record is something that is fully formed in the head of the man that made it and as interesting and well made as it, it isn’t something that may hold up over time. It is completely personal and, honestly, not universally understandable. The product of one person’s journey and as an artist West can always make you understand his intentions even if you don’t agree with them.

It has been a long time coming and with Donda, Kayne West cements his reputation of being someone that you can rely on for doing something, at the very least, interesting. It’s a dark record, full of some very honest sentiments and one that doesn’t always stick the landing. It’s overstuffed with songs that, while always sounding great, are long in the tooth Donda isn’t something that anyone will be able to fully understand with only a few listens but there is something to be said about a record that, even while you don’t fully grasp it, is intriguing enough to make you want to dig deeper on. This is exactly that record. A new offering from one of the most unique artists that exists in our world today.

Pre-order Donda by Kanye West HERE