Reviewed Apr 14, 2017 (updated Apr 15, 2017)
Unlike Kendrick's last two albums, DAMN. does not have one central idea. TPAB was heavily focused on political and social issues, and GKMC was a concept album that told a story of being an adolescent boy growing up in Compton. And because of this lack of an idea or theme, I think that DAMN. is the perfect balance between the two projects.
There are introspective songs that move along slowly (FEAR.), bangers that retain Kendrick's lyrical excellence (DNA.), and unapologetically commercial radio-targeted songs (LOVE.). Kendrick had nothing to truly prove with this album, as it can be generally accepted that he is one of the best rappers alive and currently active in this "new generation" of hip hop.
Production wise, DAMN. still keeps a balance of the jazz rap from TPAB and trap-flavored beats that could be found on GKMC and Section.80. With help from the likes of BADBADNOTGOOD and Mike Will Made It, the variation in beats ensures that this record will appeal to a wide range of listeners.
DAMN. is not as impactful or important (which is arguable) than the album Kendrick released previous to it, but I think that it is definitely an improvement for Kendrick Lamar and his dominance of the rap game. There is something that everyone can enjoy here, Kendrick Lamar continues to prove that he is a force to be reckoned with in 2017 and, if he keeps releasing projects like this, is among the best of all time.
fav tracks: DNA., LOVE., XXX., FEAR., GOD., DUCKWORTH.
least fav tracks: HUMBLE., LOYALTY.