This is one of his best packages, and it was well worth the wait and all the twists and turns in between.
C U L T U R E is that rare work, one where an artist’s aesthetic is funneled into every track, where you can sense the trajectory from their previous works to this one.
This is Jay-Z walking onto the stage alone, standing contritely in front of the world, and speaking from the heart, revealing himself in order to heal.
The Big Fish Theory is a powerful and troubling record. It’s an epic in miniature that shows a natural progression from Staples’s previous work.
Through two albums this year (and a third on the way), they’re solidly established in their identity as a group. Saturation II is a major step in that development as it confirmed they’re capable of putting out quantity and quality. But trust in a formula will only get them so far.
Kendrick Lamar is at his most belligerent, confident, strident on DAMN.. But also his most tender, hurt, thoughtful. He switches tone within songs, and from song to song.