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4.1 out of 5 stars
G.O.O.D. Music: Cruel Summer
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68 of 81 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2012
Format: Audio CD
It's finally here, G.O.O.D. releases their debut compilation album. If your on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook or Hip Hop sites then you mostly heard some of these joints months ago and you were anticipating the album. Let's get into this track by track review

1. "To the World" (Kanye West and R. Kelly) Kanye & Kells deliver on the opener, R is doing what he wants as he says "The whole world is a couch/ B**** I'm Rick James and I'm not giving a f*** tonight",(Hes referring to the Rick James skit from Dave Chappelles show where he said "F*** yo couch") and Ye drops a dope verse as he takes a swipe at Mitt Romney by saying "I'm just tryna to protect my stacks/ Mitt Romney don't pay tax/ Mitt Romney don't pay no tax". This basically is the not giving a f*** anthem, great track !

2. "Clique" (Kanye West, Jay-Z and Big Sean) These three are just having fun on the Hit-Boy produced track doing their usual boasting, and its a good song nonetheless. Was anybody else surprised when Jay said "I'm talking bossy/ I aint talking Kelis" ? For those who might not of understood the line Kelis had a song out called "Bossy" back in 2006.

3. "Mercy" (Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz) The first single that was released back in April, you all should know this song by now. the hook is very catchy and the production is dope as well.

4. "New God Flow" (Kanye West, Pusha T and Ghostface Killah) This is an updated version, Pusha T and Kanye still have their same verses, which are very good and we get a brand new Ghostface verse which definitely stands out. When you hear that verse from Ghostface you gonna know why people still consider him one of the best still doing it. Kanye West, Boogz & Tapez supplies a great beat on here.

5. "The Morning" (Raekwon, Pusha T, Common, 2 Chainz, Cyhi the Prynce, Kid Cudi and D'banj) Another great collab, they all drop enjoyable verses and D'banj supplies the hook. This is a stand out track you should check out as well.

6. "Cold" (Kanye West and DJ Khaled) This song was originally called "Theraflu" but we all know that had some Controversy with the title so it got changed to "Way Too Cold", then they changed to just "Cold". Kanye spits "Only n**** I got respect for is Wiz / And I admit I fell in love with Kim around the same time she fell in love with him" and he disses Kims ex husband Kris Humphries for no apparent reason by saying "lucky I ain't had Jay drop him from the team". He plays for Nj Nets, which Jay owns some percentage of.

7. "Higher" (The-Dream, Pusha T, Mase and Cocaine 80s) The beat on here sounds Timbaland inspired, rapper turned pastor turned back rapper Mase is back on the scene and he says "I bumped into Loon he like As-salamu alaykum/ You know I ain't Muslim my n**** I'm about my bacon". I'm not sure what was the point of Dream using auto tune, Pusha on the first verse and Cocaine 80s is last. I'm not too big on this

8. "Sin City" (John Legend, Travis Scott, Teyana Taylor, Cyhi the Prynce and Malik Yusef) Travi$ Scott sets the track off, John Legend sings the bridge, Teyana sings the hook, Cyhi drops a nice verse, and we also get some spoken word from "Malik Yusef. Nice track

9. "The One" (Kanye West, Big Sean, 2 Chainz and Marsha Ambrosius) Marsha gets gangsta on here as she says "Got a pistol on my hip/ And Its gonna be some s***", but besides the hook I don't really have a issue with this joint. The beat is laid back

10. "Creepers" (Kid Cudi) Solo joint by Cudder, you guys should know what to expect here. It was interesting to hear Cudi say "I don't love who I am/ so I'm working on a fix". This was okay but definitely not one of his best

11. "Bliss" (John Legend and Teyana Taylor) Nice R&B track from these two. The chemistry was good and it didn't feel forced.

12. "I Don't Like" (Kanye West, Chief Keef, Pusha T, Big Sean and Jadakiss) The remix to Chief Keef song with everybody telling you what they don't like. This was released back on May and shouldn't even be on here in my opinion.

Overall the album has its good moments but somethings missing. As much as this cd kept getting pushed back, its no reason to leave us with just 12 tracks and four of those were released months ahead of time. I felt it should of had 15 or 16 tracks. Another question I was wondering is why Q-Tip, Mos Def and Mr. Hudson are not on here and they all are signed to G.O.O.D. Music ? . It seems like some of these joints were just sitting around and somebody was like hey lets throw these on the album.. the lack of direction is what hurts it the most. Maybe on the next compilation we'll get a more focused product. Its a solid compilation that I think everyone should at least check it out. Its not a album of the year contender but it should hold you over until the next G.O.O.D. Music release. All the featured artist on here came through and did their thing, 3.5 stars
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 4, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Beware: You are about to buy a G.O.O.D. music album, not a Kanye West album. Don't go into this thinking you are going to get a Kanye West album, because while he is behind this...these are not all his songs.

Now that we've got that out of the way, I can talk about the album a bit.

Cruel Summer is a good, but weird listen. I say weird not because any of the songs are bad, but because the way the tracklisting was laid out. The first six songs are set up pretty decent, but it's after those songs that, in my opinion, the tracklisting could have used a little bit of a shake up. It seems like whoever chose the order of the songs after the first six did it by putting their iTunes on shuffle, or throwing all the names of the songs in a hat and picking them one by one til they ran out.

The best example of this is sandwiching a song like Bliss between Creepers and I Don't Like. It doesn't make any sense. None of these songs are bad, but they don't belong next to one another on an album. You go from a love song to a thug song and the feeling of listening to those songs next to each other is just strange. With that being said, if you're just buying this to throw on your iPod, or whatever the mp3 player of your choice is, then that's a problem you will never notice.

As for the album's songs I have to so say there are a lot of great ones and a few okay ones. Cruel Summer serves it's purpose as showing off the talent that Kanye West has signed to his album very well. It is one of the better compilations put out by a rapper that I've bought. If you're a fan of any artist featured on this album then grabbing a copy of this is a no brainer because you will enjoy most, if not all, of it. Overall this album has some really good songs on it, and if you need a new Rap/R&B album to listen to then I suggest you pick this one up because, for the most part, I think you'll be satisfied with your purchase.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2012
Format: Audio CD
1. To The World - 4/5 It's an awkward auto-tuned R. Kelly dominated song. It almost feels like what Kanye tried to pull off with the first song, "Dark Fantasy", on his latest masterpiece of an album "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy". The production quality is top notch, but it seems almost kind of lazy in terms of originality lyrics wise.

2. Clique - 5/5 Big Sean starts the song off with the chorus, followed by one of the better verses I've heard from him, he performs the chorus, but it seems kind of lazy "Clique, Clique, Clique, Clique, Clique, ain't no one fresher than my clique." Jay-Z follows Sean with a great verse, he seems to feel right at home with this beat. Kanye lays down the last verse, but it seems to go on for a little too long, it's not bad, as it's comparable to Jay's verse, he just got a little carried away.

3. Mercy - 3/5 The lead single off the album comes off a little bittersweet. Kanye's verse stands out as the best, while Big Sean continues off his latest mediocre hit "Dance (A$$)". Pusha T's verse starts out quite well after blending into the background. 2 Chainz's flow doesn't match up with the other three rapper's, and turns out to have the worst verse in the song. The beat is pounding and demand's your attention, but once the chorus hits, you realize how mediocre the song really is. It was actually quite disappointing knowing the potential Kanye has, the song does nothing to stand out as one of the better songs as of late, let alone the album.

4. New God Flow - 5/5 Kanye and Pusha team up to make up for their latest commercially successful "Mercy" with "New God Flow". The hook comes courtesy of Ghostface Killah's "Mighty Healthy". The piano beat fits the two rapper's flows very well. Pusha T starts out with two exceptional verses, while Kanye finishes with one verse and a long chanting outro. The song fits together very well, and stands out as one of the better tracks on the album.
5. The Morning - 5/5 The first thing that is almost immediately noticeable about this one is the incredibly original beat. All of the guests on the song do an incredible job, though it's obvious that Raekwon had the best verse. The hook comes in without really any warning, and doesn't stop the song dead, but more like brings it to a weird halt.

6. Cold - 4/5 Cold was a somewhat confusing release. It came out within just a few days of the release of the lead single "Mercy". Kanye goes almost solo in the song, which is for the better. Kanye's flow fits the beat almost flawlessly, the hook blends in perfectly with his rapping. Kanye also throws in a few very memorable lines and DJ Khaled finishes the song shouting what seems to be his, as well as other people's addresses like a wild gorilla. It's incredibly annoying, not to mention unneeded. If it weren't for DJ Khaled's part at the end, we'd be looking at a 5 star song.

7. Higher - 3/5 This brings back weird Deja Vu's of T-Pain's latest album "Revolver". For better and worse. The rapping is great like usual, Pusha T does a great job with his verse, though it's short lived. The Dream comes in to put in an awkward T-Pain-esque chorus that fits the song, but still really just doesn't impress anyone.

8. Sin City - 5/5 One of the higher Points of the album. The pounding beat leads into the chorus where Teyana Taylor and John Legend put in a solid hook. The song reminds of Kanye's latest solo album for the better. It's a darker sounding song, where even Malik Yusef says you're not welcome to Sin City.

9. The One - 4/5 This easily could have blended right in with Kanye's original 15 G.o.o.d. Friday singles from before "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy". The Piano beat mixes in well with Kanye's slower flow, and the guests and the chorus just give it that G.o.o.d. Friday feel.
10. Creepers - 4/5 Probably the most confusing song on the album. Kid Cudi goes solo on this one, and its for the better, it's a beat that only Kid Cudi could work with. It's a good song but it just doesn't seem to fit in with anything else in the album. I could of seen this one on "Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager"

11. Bliss - 2/5 Another confusing song to go along with "Creepers" and "Don't Like" to end the album on a sour note. When you hear Teyana Taylor and John Legend doing a song together, I'm sure you would imagine a slower serenading type song, and while the lyrics are there, the beat... well not so much. The song is filled with flat horn sounding synthesizer beats that seem to get bored half way through their parts. Both Taylor and Legend do a good job, but the two artists, lyrics, and the beat just turn into a confusing mess of song they just seemed to spill out.

12. Don't Like - 2/5 This was the song that made people start freaking out about Chief Keef? Its an incredibly mediocre, pounding song that seems to be like a love child between "Cold" and "Mercy". Big Sean's verse demands the most attention of the other guests on the track. The song turns into just a failed attempt at making another Mercy-esque song.

Closing Remarks: Cruel Summer is not a bad album by any means, it's just one that can't keep it's focus. Most of the songs are just kind of out there doing their own thing, and they never seem to come together to make a good album. The lack of Qtip and Mos Def was really disappointing, especially seeing that there were places that really could have used them, like I dunno, replacing Don't Like to a song that was actually part of G.o.o.d music in the first place?

FINAL SCORE:
7.5/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2013
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
3 stars for a kanye west cd but great mix tape... too short, wouldve loved more songs. can get old quick but still bumps in my system
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2012
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
Kanye's Good Music family did not rise to the occasion on this album. It will not be in my rotation next month and will be forgotten very soon. In a way, it's great that the other artists were able to maintain their personal styles, but fans of Kanye should know before purchasing that this is not on par with his solo albums. (Of course, no one promised that it would be.) The best tracks are on the radio, with the exception of Raekwon's "The Morning."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 4, 2012
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
Love anything that kayne west does, and I will always support his music, but this album is just ok. All the really good songs are already on the radio.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2012
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
Listen, there is no other Hip-Hop collective that is as diverse, original, talented or capable to put a strong theme together and actually make it work to the point where you question everything else that is out. Somehow Kanye has this ability to take songs and make them pop hit's without losing the songs authenticity and the closest thing I have seen to this is maybe Rick Ross but him orchestrating his team to produce something like this isn't possible and hasn't been done since Dr. Dre dropped the Chronic albums (which to me was a compilation since it had all his protege's and friends on it). Kanye is carrying that flag now and doing a damn good job of it and right now G.O.O.D. Music is really the bar everyone is measured on. They are just better in every way and it shows on this album. The only thing is will say to people wondering about the sound on this album is understand that this is Hip-Hop, not pop. If you want to hear pop music that sounds similar to 808's and heartbreaks Kanye than this is not for you. If you want to hear the best Hip-Hop there is out there, something that will push the bounds with different instruments, flow patterns and overall quality of music then you'll love this. All they did was take Watch the Throne and and throw some more lyrical ability on it. It's dope from top to bottom and there isn't one song I would skip on the album. It's definitely going to contend for Hip-Hop album of the year.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2013
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
It was kind of expected, but this is more like a mixtape than a full length album. It's not very cohesive, and it's really just a bunch of (potential) singles put together. A few of them are good (My Clique being my favorite) but there are also a lot of boring fillers here.
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13 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I'm giving it 5 stars because, even though I still need to listen to it many more times (already listened it around 10 times after it got released/got my hands on it), My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy has this special spot in my heart.

Let's give a rating to each song

1. "To The World" (4.5/5) I've always thought that if they can't nail the opener track by choosing one that has the needed strength the album weakens at that point and says a lot about the rest of it for the most part. They nailed it.

2. "Clique" (4.5/5) Big Sean's verse is the best IMO, Jay-Z's verse is good and Kanye's is alright. The song has a simple beat but that doesn't make it bad by any means(!), but quite the opposite, as it is a simple yet nicely crafted beat (to be a simple one at that).

3. "Mercy" (5/5) Most of us had already heard this song long ago, and one of my favorites at that. I loved it intensively when it came out as a single. It has this dark feel to it that I wish they had carried on throughout the album but then again it wasn't meant to be that sort of album.

4. "New God Flow" (4/5) I must admit Kanye's verse on this song is a killer, but I just never felt Pusha T's part on it. Maybe if it had been more of a Kanye solo song with no Pusha T, or maybe replace him for Big Sean(?) it would've been better. This again, is just my opinion, as you might be more fond of Pusha T. but personally, I'm not so much. The beat is great and original in its own place.

5. "The Morning" (4.7/5) So far this has to be probably my favorite off the record, surpassing Mercy only because I've heard Mercy hundreds of times prior to the albums release, otherwise it most likely would've been a different story. This song has this nice intro whose genre I can't exactly identify as it turns into this deep-hitting bass beat. Very catchy in the not-meant-to-be-a-hit-song category.

6. "Cold" (4/5) 'Can't a young n**** get money more?' A Kanye solo song I would say, it feels like something from Graduation. I like it, but not my favorite. This one, once again, I had heard multiple times along with all the other singles previously released. Can't say much more.

7. "Higher" (4.8/5) It has this middle-east song feel to it, the intro at least. Good beat, really enjoy it.

8. "Sin City" (4.5/5) I love the intro part of this song, really original IMO. Love the vocal parts of it. The talking part about 'Sin City' used to hit me as somewhat cheesy at first, I've either gotten into it or whatnot but I 'enjoy' it now, you could say. Good verses.

9. "The One" (4.2/5) Calmer song, and even if it's not my preferred 'genre' this song has, I think Kanye and Big Sean nailed it right on. Catchy hook I must admit. 'I'm a motherf***ing soldier!'

10. "Creepers" (3/5) Many seem to bash this song, and while I must admit it did hit me as 'WTF' at first you can't really hate on the song as other seems to make it. Kid Cudi's solo on the entire album. I'm not a big fan of Mr.Cudi but I actually enjoy the song for what it is.

11. "Bliss" (3.5/5) This song has different vibes to it. Definitely not your typical 'hip-hop/rap' song as it is not a hip-hop/rap song. It gives it a different edge to the album, especially in its final minutes of it. I would put it this way, I listen to it along when I listen to the entire album as it gives it a nice feeling and flow in its own way, but I won't listen to it as a stand alone track.

12. "Don't Like" (4.2/5) Chief Keef remix. Good job Kanye & company. Good beat and verses, and while I don't enjoy Pusha T or Jadakiss as much, Kanye and Big Sean make up for it. Chief Keef's hook gets somewhat catchy.

To describe the album as a whole: Overall a good album. I really enjoy it, and while it's true what other say that it feels ' not focused' as in not all songs fit together/belong together in an album, they do have a good feel and flow as you listen to it in its entirety, especially if you look at it as a G.O.O.D Music album and not a Kanye album, where each member puts its part into it, which it is, then you will realize that it is harder in a way to make it steer towards one direction as it seems that's not really what they wanted it to be, but an album where everyone puts their 'feel' and their moment in the album. If you want a more 'focused' album I say you wait for Kanye's upcoming solo, which according to some reports it will come next after this release. I love this album and wasn't disappointed by it. I now wait for Mr.West's solo album impatiently.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2012
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Front-loaded with some absolute bangers, this album definitely petered out towards the end. 'Clique' is an absolute tour de force, with Jay-Z sounding reinvigorated, Kanye dropping one of his best verses yet, and Hit-Boy proving why his name has stayed buzzing for the last couple of years. Nothing but 'The One' comes close to it; this track, featuring a sweet soulful Marsha Ambrosious chorus, also features the hardest drums I've heard in a while - I couldn't figure out if it was a drumline sound or a thousand rifles being rapidly assembled by a precise Chinese army regiment. Pusha T is on fire as usual, but we could have heard more from the criminally underrated CyHi Da Prynce (and less from the unbearable Big Sean). Also, the heavy reliance on synths and dance influences really detracts from the G.O.O.D. Music sound we've come to know and love - where's the soul? On the whole quite listenable, but nowhere near the usual Kanye gold standard. Disappointing.
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