Kanye West released his hotly anticipated ninth studio album “Jesus Is King” Friday.
After indefinitely shelving the planned “Yahndi” album last fall, fans were eager to listen to West’s latest music.
The 11 track album is a refreshing change for West who has often come under criticism for controversial lyrics and his political views.
This new West album portrays him as a devout Christian and builds off of his “Sunday Service” performances which included gospel music and sermons.
For 27 minutes, West made attempts to praise God while also giving listeners the instrumental and flow his fans have come to expect.
The album's opening track “Every Hour” with the “Sunday Service” choir made me feel like I was walking into a church but it lacked West.
The second track “Selah” saw West rap on a beat similar to “The Life of Pablo,” before eventually including the choirs radiating echoes of “Hallelujah,” and concluding with the line, “Love God and our neighbor, as written in Luke. The army of God and we are truth.”
The album at times reminded me of West’s protégé Chance the Rapper, whose earlier project “Coloring Book” shared the heavy gospel influence and was critically acclaimed.
The album’s lyrics consisted of various biblical influences, as well as one of the more unexpected lines, “Closed on Sunday, you my Chick-Fil-A. You’re my number one, with the lemonade,” referencing the Christian fast food chain’s famous chicken sandwich.
In my opinion, the album’s two strongest songs come one after another, with “On God,” and “Everything We Need” featuring Ty Dolla Sign and Ant Clemons. The songs which sound like polar opposites are both enjoyable in their own ways and bring the album together as a whole.
West concludes the album with the track “Jesus is Lord,” a 49-second song deriving from lines in Philippians 2:11.
For the amount of time fans waited and the delayed release, I felt the album’s length fell short of expectations. However, the quality of music was enough to satisfy me.
The album was a solid addition to West’s impressive collection of music and leaves me anxiously awaiting his next project which will hopefully be an encore to 2018’s “Kids See Ghosts.”