Album Review


Lizzie Graff, Reporter

After a long wait, Kanye West, one of the world’s most popular musical artists, finally came out with his newest creation, Donda. Going around to any student in the John Adams Hallway, you probably won’t find any one student that hasn’t listened to this controversial album. Not only that, but everyone has their own drastic opinion of this interesting piece. 

As Kanye’s tenth solo album, the LP features 27 songs, adding up to a whopping hour and 49 minutes. Some things specifically stuck out to me about this album when I first saw it. First, the album cover was black with no sort of embellishments. Second, none of the songs on the album were explicit, which is pretty uncharacteristic of Kanye in the Past. 

Kanye dropped the album at eight in the morning on a Sunday, and it features many “gospel-like” songs on it. Some titles that stuck with me were “Praise God”, “Jonah”, “Heaven and Hell”, “Jesus Lord”, “Keep My Spirit Alive”, and “Lord I Need You”, among other religious titles. Kanye has been known for his religious songs in previous albums and singles, but this album seems to stick out. It seems he has evolved in his religious journey and makes that shown through various songs on the album. This might be one of the reasons he had made the album completely clean. However, I did find this religious undertone to always be a little ironic. He seems to sort of identify himself as a god-like figure in his other songs, and throughout his real life, outside of music. 

The album also features many popular artists, including but not limited to, Lil Baby, Lil Durk, Lil Yachty, Roddy Ricch, Young Thug, Travis Scott, and Kid Cudi. However, none of the artists are listed as features in the song titles, which is the usual format used on Apple Music. 

Already, controversy surrounds this album. First, Kanye is known for his gutsy, abrupt, and frankly out of pocket statements. Second, some of the features on his a

lbum are questionable. DaBaby, who is featured on the song “Jail Pt. 2”, has had recent controversies surrounding him about homophobia. However, I personally do not find this a surprise; Kanye has never failed to do the unexpected or something that the public may not like. No matter how much support Kanye receives, he will always be met with tons of attention. Along with attention comes money and fame, which Kanye will never have a lack of.

There is plenty of discussion about separating the artist from the art, and it is a question that must be asked: “Should I support an artist’s music if I don’t agree with his morals and/or politics?” That isn’t a question I can answer in one article, but I will take an objective view to discuss the music in its purest form. 

The first time I listened to Donda, I found it “mid”. However, in order to write a review, I of course had to listen to it at least three times. By the third time, I actually became very fond of many of the songs on the album, especially “Jail”, “Jonah”, and “Hurricane”. However, I also find some of the lyrics pretty funny, for example, “I talk to God, that’s my bestie.” on the song “Off the Grid”. 

In conclusion, I don’t think Kanye should be taken as seriously as many people take him. Yes, he does say some pretty crazy stuff. Yes, he has written/sang/produced some pretty fantastic songs throughout the years. But, he is getting older, he has gone through a divorce, and has shown some pretty definite signs of being an odd human being. All things considered, the album is good, but not a masterpiece.