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Man On The Moon III: The Chosen

by Kid Cudi

Released December 11, 2020 via Wicked Awesome Records / Republic Records

Reviewed December 15, 2020

Top tracks (based on community voting)
The Void (66%), Solo Dolo, Pt. III (49%), Tequila Shots (41%)

With the Man on the Moon’s return to complete a legendary trilogy, the hallmarks seem to be discarded. Instead, what’s left is closer to Travis Scott’s Astroworld: Trap beats, mumbly verses, and adlibs full of "YAH!" Artists don’t have to give us what we want; they’re allowed to do whatever they want with their music, but I'm allowed to prefer the old stuff. Man on the Moon III only kind of lives up to the expectations that its title establishes. "Tequila Shots" is a solid opener talking about fighting "this war in me," "The Void" is the kind of soaring anthem Cudi excels at. However, so much of this album sounds so different from the first two in the trilogy and doesn't have much in the way of a concept or narrative. I don't see what made this more of a Man on the Moon, than Indicud or Passion, Pain, & Demon Slayin’. The first half especially is where I'm feeling the Travis Scott comparison as it's a series of melodic pop trap beat songs that don't stand out very much from all the other melodic pop trap beat songs out there. Obviously, Travis Scott was heavily influenced by Kid Cudi, so it's only natural for Kid Cudi to look at what the next generation did with his sound and try to riff off of it. In the same way that the original MOTMs were made for young people 10 years ago, this one is made for this generation of kids in mind. And that's okay, I respect Kid Cudi and I don't think this album is bad. But I don't think it's very good either. It's not for me and at best I'd say it's extremely decent with highlights. Almost a good album. – Daniel (6.8/10)

Man On The Moon III should be a home run. Kid Cudi's starkly alternative take on hip hop from Act I and II has more or less become the hottest trend in modern pop rap. To drop MOTM III now makes perfect sense, as it should effortlessly replicate the trilogy's beginnings while being far more suitable to the climate than it ever was before. Cudi is swimming in his own handmade ocean, it should be easy. Perhaps too easy, as Act III feels more in line with the disposable emo rap wave he inspired than it does with the creative intuition he used to jumpstart that era in the first place. While he emulates the series' themes and image on the surface, Cudi can't help but sound like a bug on his own windshield. Hard to feel as if this new episode doesn't lag a bit behind its predecessors. – Enth (6/10)

On his third addition to the Man On The Moon series, Kid Cudi unfortunately fails to recapture the magic he had once nailed down with the first two. With bland production and even blander rapping/singing, Cudi unfortunately sounds like a shadow of his former self, leaving much to be desired. Some moments, such as “The Pale Moonlight,” feature glimmers of greatness, but the vast majority of this 18-track album is just decent at best, with very few highlights. – Hadley (6/10)

Pax: 7/10 | Alan: 6.8/10 | Daniel: 6.8/10 | Dominick: 6.7/10 | Cam: 6.5/10

Enth: 6/10 | Hadley: 6/10 | Jared: 5.5/10


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