It’s been two years since we last had a proper album release from Kendrick Lamar, but DAMN. is worth the wait. I’ve listened to the record in its entirety twice this morning and I love it. When HUMBLE. was released a week or so ago, I was a little surprised by the hard, heavy beats as I was accustomed to (and expecting) the jazz backing to return, as we heard throughout To Pimp a Butterfly. But Kendrick has taken this album in a different direction- and it works.
The song FEEL. particularly stood out during my listens. It’s new, it’s different, and the whole song has a reflective, anxious vibe, amplified by an echoey backing. It’s a development from a Kendrick who put himself at the foreground of social issues, to one showing his own vulnerabilities- it’s another dimension to his lyrical abilities.
Also- Kendrick sings!! It’s a small amount in one song (ELEMENT.) but again- it’s new and shows how diverse he is. I’m not going to talk through the album track by track, but it’s a really great album. I’ve seen Kendrick perform live on the past two album tours, so I’m praying to make it a third time with these new songs in the set list.
The features on the album are pretty great. The track with Rihanna is quality, and weirdly the song with U2 is even better. A song that shouldn’t work on paper but really does.. The song with Zacari is kind of Drake-esque?
Also I cant write about this album without discussing the rumours of a follow up album to be released on Sunday.. There’s a whole bunch of clues, from TDE tweets, lyrics from past songs, and leaked release dates.. only a select few know whether this is the case or not, but one can only hope.. and there isn’t long to wait to find out! The end of the last track, DUCKWORTH., is a little strange though, maybe not quite a usual ending to an album..
All in all it’s an incredible album, worth multiple listens! Thanks for reading!