The vocals from Kid Cudi are decent, being a lot different from his vocals ten years ago, as his voice has changed from crisp to a little more low-pitched along with an amazing amount of rawness that was present on 'The End of Day', although not on 'The Legend of Mr. Rager' as a hole full of darkness had absorbed all the rawness in his voice. The stunning singing on the choruses were calming along with an improved Kid Cudi in terms of rapping on the verses as he was vicious while remaining to his roots to create a magnificent mix of dark and light that can be seen on the lovely album cover. Ten years later, Kid Cudi did something that I never expected which was completely playing with vocals effects to enhance the effect of each word and I wasn't a major fan of this at first, but after a couple of listens to the album, it sounds fantastic as it gives off a gorgeous feeling that couldn't be felt on either of the first two in the trilogy. I think that Travis Scott was the person who influenced Kid Cudi to add the amazing addition of vocal effects, as Travis Scott is currently one of the best artists in using autotune in the right amounts and at the right places, and as we all know Kid Cudi has been working with Travis for 'The Scotts' for a while. The vocal effects don't take a lot of Kid Cudi's rawness away which was really what I was worried about when I heard Kid Cudi playing with the effects for the first time, instead making the album a lot more interesting and stand out to the other two albums in the trilogy. Additionally, I heard a ton of similarities with Kid Cudi's vocals to Trippie Redd's vocals which was wonderful to see, especially towards the end of the album, as Kid Cudi's ad-libs use the same stretching strategy that Trippe Redd uses, making more use of ad-libs than he ever has, sounding tremendous. 'Mr. Solo Dolo III' brings back Kid Cudi's cool, beautiful humming and have laid-back vocals with a little low-quality compressed vocal effect applied to his vocals to enhance the emotions that he brings to the track, not having any trouble on the beat which wasn't anything crazy and relied on Kid Cudi to make the most out of it, which was something he had trouble doing on the original 'Solo Dolo', although the vocal effect actually help Kid Cudi come through this time (Solo Dolo>Solo Dolo III still). Kid Cudi really shines when the production gives a chill, night-time feeling as his stretching of words are wonderful as can be seen on tracks like 'Sad People'. 'Return 2 Madness (Act 1)' really brought back Kid Cudi's magnificent vocals in a beautiful way, with his vocals being a little more vicious than normal, probably because he was retuning back to madness, drinking and going back to taking drugs, being the second best act in terms of vocals. 'The Rager, The Menace (Act 2)' shows the peak of the madness with his character transforming to Mr. Rager (or The Menace) with him bringing in some vocals full of energy and effects, hyping me up instantly as we witnessed Kid Cudi get to his peak of madness on 'Show Out', although being the worst act in terms of vocals. 'Heart of Rose Gold (Act 3)' uses a really gorgeous voice throughout this act where he expresses love and gratitude for everything as we can really feel his emotion shine throughout his voice, not using as much effects, making this my favorite act in terms of vocals. 'Powers (Act 4)' was probably the act where Kid Cudi realized that every time he used his voice, he had some power and influence on people, focusing more on lyrics and not on the actual vocals, making this my third favorite act in terms of vocals. Overall, Kid Cudi's vocals had certainly evolved over the ten years and he mastered the use of vocal effects along with autotune to enhance his voice, sucking every single emotion out from inside him and using it in his vocals.
The production is fascinating with the way of how they mixed Kid Cudi MOTM production style with some trap influence being perfect and totally unexpected. The entire production of the album gave off a gorgeous spacy feeling, that Eternal Atake and Pegasus had attempted earlier this year although not succeeding at making it sound amazing, as Kid Cudi's vocal effects really helped him adapt to the spacy vibe in a wonderful way which Lil Uzi Vert and Trippie Redd really couldn't do. Dot Da Genius was really a genius with the choices that he made as he served as the executive producer along with Kid Cudi, not really standing out to me before as he hadn't played major roles in the past MOTM albums, even though he was actively present on many of the tracks. The album also contained appearances from producers such as Take A Daytrip, MIKE DEAN (produced on many tracks present on MOTM2), Heavy Mellow, Emile Haynie (main producer for MOTM1 and MOTM2), FINNEAS (was super excited to Kid Cudi on a track produced by him and they did not disappoint, being a fantastic combo), and WondaGurl. MIKE DEAN really brought some magnificent outros, similar to the high-quality outros that he's been making for Travis Scott recently which was spectacular to see. I was let down by Kid Cudi and Metro Boomin as that collaboration still hadn't happened, which was something I've been wanting since listening to MOTM2. The drums did not disappoint, as they were wonderful and unique, something that wasn't payed much attention to on the previous two albums in the trilogy. The production on the album was atmospheric, unlike the other two in the trilogy (although the other two still has some amazing production), as it captured me and placed me onto the moon where Kid Cudi creates magic with his music. 'Sept. 16' was stunning as FINNEAS's fantastic influence on the track could really be felt as it had a nice melodic approach to the production on the track which was something that was lacking by a lot in the other two albums as the beats were always to basic to enjoy and I was amazed to see Kid Cudi satisfy me with some cool tracks with that style on this album. 'The Void' was one of the tracks that had the wonderful outros which I was talking about earlier, with Mike Dean combining the magnificent outro with some outstanding humming from Kid Cudi to create a heartfelt outro where Kid Cudi even thanked his fans for listening which was something that I've never heard anyone do before. 'Return 2 Madness (Act 1)' has some tremendous trap beats that serve as a spectacular introduction to the Man on the Moon ten years after we last witnessed him, almost matching 'The End of Night's introduction although actually beating it in terms of production quality, making this my favorite act in terms of production. 'The Rager, The Menace (Act 2)' has a mix of everything as Mr. Rager is really unpredictable with some really turned down beats that allows Kid Cudi to really express his emotion along with the vocal effects (such as on 'Mr. Solo Dolo 3' which provides a perfect stage for feelings to shine), while on the other hand, the production is turned up with strong instrumentals that ooze energy and really make the artists sound interesting as they bring some beautiful hype (such as on 'Show Out' which was a stunning drill beat, easily one of my favorite drill beats), making this my second favorite act in terms of production. 'Heart of Rose Gold (Act 3)' has some gorgeous production that builds the structure of the heart in which Kid Cudi spills his emotions into, which was outstanding to listen to, making this my third favorite act in terms of production. 'Powers (Act 4)' has powerful production that do a decent job at allowing Kid Cudi let everyone know what he has to tell them, without compromising the theme of the music on the album, showing that even my least favorite act in terms of production is lovely in every way as it forms a fantastic formation for the outro to the MOTM trilogy. Overall, the production was refreshing and really different to the other two albums in the trilogy as it incorporated some trap elements while sticking to the roots of the man on the moon production style.
The lyrics weren't very good as the structure of the story wasn't the easiest to understand and Kid Cudi didn't really explore deeply into his mind as much as I expected although Kid Cudi created many amazing moments with his lyrics, especially when he thanked and appreciated his loved ones and his fans. Kid Cudi seems to have moved away from drugs which made me super happy when I listed to what he was talking about as he doesn't get too deep into drugs or any discussion surrounding them, instead focusing a lot more into the withdrawals after taking drugs such as depression and loneliness. As the new topics are something that I can connect to a little more than taking drugs (cause I don't take drugs), it made me a lot more emotional as I listened to Kid Cudi delve into everything that had been troubling him recently. The album isn't manages talking about everything a lot more better than MOTM2 which was just stuck at a specific place, which was wonderful to listen to and made me feel like I was soaring through the sky in a spaceship. The man on the moon returns to madness, by not taking drugs, but by taking shots as he throws himself into the same old pain that he has experienced before, transforming into Mr. Rager in the process, but realizing a lot sooner that he was going down the destructive path, changing a significant amount as he thanked everyone that he loved (like his fans), and closed out the story with some inspirational messages that really moved me. The album was repetitive in terms of the background behind the topic discussed as nothing was fun or dark, as it remained at a mixture of the both, making the magnificent journey seem like a beautiful mess of all the complicated feelings made into one single emotion. 'Another Day' was an amazing addition to the first act as it helped everyone understand that the man on the moon was still going through the same old pain, although not for the same reasons. 'Elsie's Baby Boy (flashback)' serves as a beautiful flashback through Kid Cudi's childhood, similar to 'Soundtrack 2 My Life', although it isn't as good as 'Soundtrack 2 My Life' even though I enjoyed Kid Cudi appreciating his mom in amazing ways. The flows on the album seem flawed in a fantastic way as it adds a lot to the rawness of the music on the trilogy and really makes the singing a lot more catchy on the choruses. 'Return 2 Madness (Act 1)' introduces us to the man on the moon, ten years after we last saw him, and gives us a glimpse as the Kid Cudi goes back into the madness that he's been known to getting into, making this my third favorite act in terms of lyrics. 'The Rager, The Menace (Act 2)' shows the madness taking over the man on the moon and transforming him into Mr. Rager who we know is really destructive, making this my least favorite act in terms of lyrics. 'Heart of Rose Gold (Act 3)' is a heartfelt act coming from Kid Cudi who realizes that the madness is not what makes him and that he takes this time to thank everyone that he loves and loves him for keeping him together throughout the many years, such as his mother and fans, making this my favorite act in terms of lyrics on the album. 'Powers (Act 4)' is the act where the man on the moon finally realizes that his lyrics have power and that people all over the world are listening to his words using this act to send many messages personally to his fans, helping each and everyone one of them with some magnificent lines that made my feelings while listening to this act fluctuate, adding to the fantastic effect that Kid Cudi has on the audience, making this my second favorite act in terms of lyrics. Overall, the lyrics on the album weren't the deepest stuff that I've heard compared to the other two projects along with the story being a bit boring this time, although Kid Cudi manages to make the lyrical effects that were on the previous albums in the trilogy, stay present throughout this album.
The four features on the album were fascinating and were wonderful in their unique ways, with all of them surprising me with their presence on the album. Pop Smoke's chorus was catchy and destructive, similar to Mr. Rager's personality, making the song a more perfect fit to the album each time I take a listen, as at first, I wasn't a huge fan of the feature cause it seemed like Kid Cudi just bought a feature from Pop Smoke's label making me feel a uncomfortable as it didn't fit like a perfect piece of a puzzle, but it made more sense as time went on as I mentioned before because of the desturctive, careless nature of the track. Skepta surprised me with a stunning verse that complimented Pop Smoke's drill style in a perfect way with bars after bars, easily outperforming Kid Cudi, which was totally unexpected. Phoebe Bridgers is an artist that I've been wanting to listen to as her last album has been praised and called amazing by many so I was intrigued when the song with her came on, as I became instantly absorbed by her beautiful vocals that fit in a fantastic way with Kid Cudi as their humming on the outro turned out to be tremendous. Trippie Redd, who dropped one of the most hated albums of 2020 in the form of Pegasus (which wasn't very different to MOTM3 in my opinion), dropped a decent feature on the album, sounding so soothing along with Kid Cudi as their chemistry was spectacular. I felt like this album might be missing a feature as there was a only four, which is a lot less, compared to the amount of features present on the other two albums on the trilogy, with me missing Kanye West by quite a bit as it would've been interesting to see how they would sound together on these MOTM spacey, trap beats that were beautiful and because he was present on the other two albums, playing a major part in the man of the moon's world. Overall, the features may seem unnecessary and like they don't fit in, but the play a bigger part each time you take a listen to the album.
'Return 2 Madness' was the first act which is responsible in introducing the man on the moon ten years later and it does a really good job with the intro and the four tracks showing him drinking to return to the madness on 'Tequila Shots' and that he hasn't changed on 'Another Day', making this my favorite act on the album. 'The Rager, The Menace' is the second act which shows that the drinking gradually lead to Mr. Rager to come out completely on 'Show Out' while instantly realizing that he was marching down the same old road on 'Mr. Solo Dolo III', making this my third favorite act. 'Heart of Rose Gold' shows the man on the moon's heavy heart which he spills into the songs as he talks about love and loneliness, two tremendous topics that haven't been discussed as much as they should in hip-hop, while cutting down the vocal effects, making this my second favorite act on the album. 'Powers' is the last act on the trilogy with Kid Cudi using the power he has on people all around the world to send some stunning positive messages through his lyrics, creating a magnificent end to the album with the messages, although it wasn't as amazing in terms of music, making this my least favorite act on the album.
Watching Kid Cudi's interview with Zane Lowe really helped me understand where he was as a person, which is at a wonderful place. From what I watched, he seemed to have quit drugs and has even quit smoking which are both spectacular news, with him doing both because he realized that he has to be there for his daughter. The process of how he made this album was perfect as he made whatever music he was wanted and when he realized that what he was working on didn't fit either Entergalatic or The Scotts, he knew that it was made for the last album of the trilogy. I thought this was tremendous as he didn't force himself to make the ending of the trilogy, it just naturally came to him, adding to the rawness of this trilogy which is a main reason for the success of all three albums. Although everything may look amazing, he struggles with the withdrawals, like I mentioned before, but he certainly is at a better place than he was ten years ago.
Overall, 'Man Of The Moon III: The Chosen' is a cool comeback for Kid Cudi as he takes us to visit the Man Of The Moon who seems to be at a more stable space, where he struggles with the withdrawals of his new lifestyle, with this being a beautiful album with vocals that seem to have evolved, production that infuses trap elements to the original man on the moon production style, lyrics that spread love and spectacular messages, and gorgeous features that grow on you as time passes. Already a classic!
Underrated Track: Lovin' Me
Favorite Tracks: Tequila Shots, Another Day, Sad People, and Sept. 16
Least Favorites: She Knows This and Elsie's Baby Boy (Along with maybe The Void)
|2||Tequila Shots / 100|
|3||Another Day / 100|
|4||She Knows This / 50|
|5||Dive / 85|
|6||Damaged / 90|
|7||Heaven on Earth / 85|
|8||Show Out / 80|
|9||Solo Dolo, Pt. III / 90|
|10||Sad People / 100|
|11||Elsie's Baby Boy (flashback) / 75|
|12||Sept. 16 / 100|
|13||The Void / 90|
|14||Lovin' Me / 100|
|15||The Pale Moonlight / 90|
|16||Rockstar Knights / 90|
|17||4 da Kidz / 90|
|18||Lord I Know / 90|