Kanye West takes a gospel turn on ‘Jesus Is King’

Dom Brazeau

After multiple missed release dates and title changes to the album, Kanye West finally released “Jesus Is King.” It’s one of the strangest albums of 2019 — admittedly, it isn’t the most well-liked, but it does show Kanye’s new direction. 

Kanye is one of those artists who needs no introduction. From crazy stunts all over social media to now being a born-again Christian, Kanye is constantly changing, and “Jesus Is King” is no exception. The artist’s year has been yet another rollercoaster. He almost quit rap altogether, saying it was “the devil’s music,” and he started Sunday Service, which contributed to the overall sound of the album. 

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Kanye’s Sunday Service is a choir that sings gospel versions of some of Kanye’s older songs.

The album opens with this same choir, singing “Every Hour,” which doesn’t have Kanye on it at all. The piano and choir do a good job, but this song doesn’t really have any direction, with the choir mostly singing the phrase “every hour” over and over.

Score: 5/10

Favorite Tracks: “Follow God,” “Water”

Least Favorite tracks: “Closed On Sunday” 

The second track, “Selah,” has Kanye rapping about different Bible verses, and again, the choir is featured. The song ends with lots of different vocals, and it sounds like an outro that could have come off of some of his previous projects.

“Follow God” is one of the better tracks on the album and has a beat carried by a vocal sample. This song is one of the shorter ones, coming in at under two minutes. 

“Closed On Sunday” is a slower song that builds as the song goes on. It also has a weird lyric about Chick-fil-A. “On God” has one of the better beats on the album, but the lyrics are not anything special. 

“Water,” again assisted by the choir, is one of the best songs, but it blends in with the rest of the album. Once you get to the back half of the tracklist, songs like “Everything We Need,” “Hands On” and “Jesus Is Lord” all sound similar. 

The last track that really stands out is “Use The Gospel,” a track that features both the rap group Clipse and Kenny G. The beat sounds like your car telling you to fasten your seat belt with an annoying beep. Kanye doesn’t really add anything to the track. Clipse also doesn’t wow, other than the fact that this is the first time in a while that you can hear both of them together. For the most part, Kenny G’s saxophone solo is the best part. 

Overall, “Jesus Is King” has one major problem, and it’s Kanye. He doesn’t do anything all that special to make this a great sound. Many of his features outshine him, and the beats tend to be more interesting than what he is saying. “Jesus Is King” isn’t bad, but it also isn’t good. It’s an album that will most likely be forgotten in a few weeks.

Dominic Brazeau can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @DomBrazeau.