“Jesus Is King” Album Review

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Kanye West, the creator of the "Jesus Is King" album (via David Shankbone, Wikimedia Commons)

Kanye West released his ninth studio album Jesus Is King on October 25, 2019 to a relatively lukewarm reception. His album centers mainly on Christian themes—the culmination of West’s transformation in recent years.

At the end of 2016, West checked into a mental hospital due to personal reasons. After disappearing from the public eye for an extended amount of time during 2017, West re-emerged in 2018 to release his eighth studio album ye. Pitchfork, an American online magazine that reviews notable musicians, regarded ye as one of the weaker albums in his discography. West announced a project, titled Yandhi, which was originally slated to release in September of 2018, however, the project was delayed multiple times. West tweeted that the album would be postponed indefinitely, saying that, “…the new album I’ve been working on isn’t ready yet.” 

On January 6, 2019, West formed the Sunday Service group, a Christian gospel choir, claiming his motive to be that he wanted to perform “Godly music,” according to choir director Jason White in a Rolling Stone interview. After scrapping most of the finished tracks on Yandhi and starting anew, Kim Kardashian re-announced the album as Jesus Is King, as a result of West’s newly-found strength in his Christian faith. Kardashian used Twitter as a platform to promote the album – posting a photo of the album’s tracklist on August 29.

The album, clocking in at roughly 27 minutes, contains multiple sub-two-minute tracks, which has brought criticism for feelings of irresolution and incompleteness.

“As a long-time Kanye fan, this album didn’t completely throw me off. Kanye has had religious themes in his music since his debut album,” explains junior Ari Segal. “What I was not expecting was a full-length project of this magnitude to solely be about Christianity. It just goes to show that Kanye will do what Kanye wants and we are all here on the ride for it.”

In an interview with DJ Zane Lowe, West stated, “I thought I was god of culture but the culture was my god.” However, it seems that West’s lifestyle changes, as well as his new faith, indicate that West is happy in his current state of being. While the album faces some criticism, West seems to be creating music that makes him feel more fulfilled.

Sources: YouTube, BreakingNews, Pitchfork, NBC News, Esquire

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons