Kendrick Lamar - Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers (New Album) May 13th.

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Exitmusic, Apr 18, 2022.

  1. Saturns Pattern

    Saturns Pattern Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    I haven't listened to this yet, but I'm looking forward to spending time with it tonight. I want to make sure I'm in the perfect state of mind in order to savour that first listen.
     
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  2. Tim Simmons

    Tim Simmons ___________________

    Album is heavy. In a good way. Some ones said dense, it really is. You can make your mind up on it after 1 listen, but this is something that unfolds after repeated listens. So much to unpack. Really really dug it, but yeah. It’s pretty heavy at times.
     
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  3. pinkrudy

    pinkrudy Forum Resident

    N95 sounds like a radio single.
     
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  4. zombiemodernist

    zombiemodernist Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northeastern USA
    True but still leaning into controversies in the lyrics! I’m happy that this feels like that, a very free sounding Kendrick. Damn and Good Kidd have all the bangers I need.
     
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  5. steviej

    steviej Forum Resident

    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    I think "We Cry Together" could clear a room pretty easily if blasted at a party. Man, that's rough. I'll probably cut that one from my drive to work playlist...

    After one listen, it seems like a solid album. I'm kind of surprised by the number of features, though. Kendrick is strong enough by himself, that it always seems like a bit of a let down when he hands the mic off to someone else. I'll really dig in again later tonight.
     
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  6. Ristifer

    Ristifer Forum Resident

    Sheesh. I'm not sure how I feel about this yet. There are some insanely good tracks on here, and some where I'm left wondering if they'll ever grab me. I'm still digesting it, though, so I'm not going to rate it or anything like that at this point. DAMN. was definitely more immediate, which I enjoyed. But this is a whole different beast.

    I love Worldwide Steppers, Father Time, Crown, and Mr. Morale so far. Those are my standouts.
     
  7. pinkrudy

    pinkrudy Forum Resident

    we cry together is the comedy interlude skit that lasts 5 minutes....:laugh:
     
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  8. Penny24

    Penny24 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    I teared up a few times listening to this. Powerful music. Well worth the wait. :love: Welcome back, King Kendrick!
     
  9. Stone Turntable

    Stone Turntable Dedicated Follower of Hi-Fi

    Location:
    New Mexico USA
    Loving this so far. “Father Time” is incredible.
     
  10. nmesen

    nmesen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Golden, Colorado
    Just finished my first spin. Agreed that it is a very heavy listen. Lyrically and beatwise it was pretty good but I think with some more listens it will improve even more for me. DAMN didn’t grab me at first either and now it’s one of my favorites. A few of the slower songs in the middle dragged on a bit and We Cry Together could be shortened a bit. My wife walked in during that one and was less than impressed. Overall impressive and hopefully will open up with more listens. I do wish there was a vinyl release though.
     
    mschrist likes this.
  11. ghoulsurgery

    ghoulsurgery House Ghost

    Location:
    New Jersey
    I want to listen as closely as possible so I haven’t gone through the whole album yet. I did listen to the equivalent of disc 1, and I like it. I have to really process it and develop real opinions, but I can tell it’s deep and dense and worth the time to dig into. “Worldwide Steppers” and “Father Time” jumped out at me the most today. Glad to hear Sampha in there!
     
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  12. Penny24

    Penny24 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    The second disc is gonna mess you up. It's packed with so much introspection, trauma and confessional moments. As ironic as it might sound, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers (being as heavy as it is) goes by quickly for a double album. Maybe I'm just enjoying it too much.
     
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  13. jfeldt

    jfeldt Forum Resident

    Location:
    SF, CA, USA
    I only made it halfway through last night. Taking a new run through it now
     
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  14. bcaulf

    bcaulf Forum Resident

    This album is breathtaking, and I'm incredibly impressed with Lamar's direction here and growth his ability to have total control over where he wants to take his art next. 5 years after DAMN, 5 years older, with a lot happening in the world and in personal life between that time, this is the perfect response. His patience is a virtue, he fine tunes his material until it's near flawless. That's what makes a true artist of his caliber to me. I don't know if it tops TPAB for me but this might be right behind it as his best, and it's a culmination of his previous works and his most mature and refined. I'll be digesting this one for a while.

    Easily album of the year contender.
     
  15. jfeldt

    jfeldt Forum Resident

    Location:
    SF, CA, USA
    Wow, what an incredible album. I've been trying to think of what to say since it ended, since I know I won't be able to do my feelings justice. Last night's listen to the first half on laptop speakers while semi-distracted led to me questioning what I heard, but listening to the album in full today on my main system with full attention proved to be really rewarding. From the lines of "I've been going through something..." in the first track to "I choose me, I'm sorry" in the last track, I related to the stories and the words so much. Of course, our stories and paths are different, but with my current emotional state, it just hit me really, really hard. It's almost like a lot of the lines I could imagine saying to myself. What a great storyteller. Times like this make me appreciate how much of a gift music is to the world.

    "We Cry Together" is a difficult listen, but I've listened to it all the way through each listen so far. Time will tell if it ends up going to auto-skip or if it stays integral for future listens.
    I like the lilting piano and overall production.
    I was surprised to hear Ghost on here, but this isn't the "Remember when I long-dicked you and broke your ovary" Ghost, this is the "Two brothers with muscular dystrophy, it killed me" Ghost, so it works, though I agree with @steviej above that Kendrick is so strong, I'm surprised by so many tracks with featured guests.
    When Kendrick goes from his low speaking voice and VTEC kicks in to his amped-up voice, it's really powerful, like in the last third of Mother I Sober. I'm a big Beth Gibbons fan and her contribution on this track is great.
    I avoided reading anything about this album or any of the tracks or lyrics until I gave it a proper listen, so I'm excited to now go nerd out on the background.

    So far, my listens to The Smile last night appealed to my intellectual side with the interesting musical construction, but this appeals to my emotional side, and I will have this playing over and over on repeat for a while with other albums only interleaving in once in a while until I am satisfied that I have had enough.
     
  16. jfeldt

    jfeldt Forum Resident

    Location:
    SF, CA, USA
    If you still feel that way, perhaps try listening to just the second half alone? I was thinking possibly "not good" until I finished up the second half.
     
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  17. Penny24

    Penny24 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    The intensity of "We Cry Together" was reminiscent of Eminem's "Kim", but way more relatable. I'll be showing my father this album in a few days to see what he thinks but I definitely know that this will be the song that might possibly rub him the wrong way. :laugh:
     
  18. Vox78

    Vox78 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cork
    I found it exhausting! Wish it wasn’t on the album.
     
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  19. olinko

    olinko Forum Resident

    Location:
    Zagreb
    I'm on my third listen, I don't say this lightly -- and I'm by no means a Kendrick fanboy -- but this may just be the best mainstream album (in any genre) since Frank Ocean's Blonde
    Lyrically as superb as DAMN (yet much more vulnerable), musically as ambitious as To Pimp a Butterfly. The best of both worlds
     
  20. Tony Kaye

    Tony Kaye Forum Resident

    Location:
    Essex, UK
  21. Grant

    Grant Life is a rock, but the radio rolled me!

    Location:
    United States
    I just got through listening to the new album. Damn. I was immediately drawn in to this one.

    I like the way he changes up his flow to keep you interested, and the varied music is a great compliment to the lyrics.

    The two tracks that really impressed me are "Father Time" and "We Cry Together". I also like the way he directly tackles anti-vaxxers and trans controversies.

    I'm sick of rappers still using the "b" and "n" words, which is a main reason I stopped listening to rap, but, at least Kendrick Lamar does it with a purpose here, and not gratuitously. But, this album is in my collection.
     
  22. Grant

    Grant Life is a rock, but the radio rolled me!

    Location:
    United States
    As someone who has been around since the beginning of this forum, I can say that this place today is a LOT more receptive to rap than it once was. I remember a time when a gort once told me not to talk about R&B music here. Yes he did!:sigh:
     
  23. Penny24

    Penny24 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    The times they are a-changin'. It's a beautiful thing to see.
     
  24. Saturns Pattern

    Saturns Pattern Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Granted, I'm only one complete listen through the album so far and it may grow on me further with repeated listens, but I think this album is incredible and it was completely worth the wait, and it's actually a far darker record than I was expecting. I wouldn't say right now that it's as good as good kid, m.A.A.d city or To Pimp a Butterfly (but I mean, that's a ridiculously high bar), but I certainly like it more than DAMN., which is still an incredible album. What can I say? He's clearly done it again.
     
  25. Brendan K

    Brendan K Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
    Kendrick came out with one of the most immaculately produced records of the year. Definitely letting the record sink in before I come to final critical judgement but overall the lyricism is still the greatest around. Not only mentally stimulating but also, at times, extremely challenging to the concept of what culture believes 'conscious' artists have the right to say;
    (specifically with the inclusion of lyrics about R. Kelly/featuring Kodak Black while also discussing the themes of abuse and misogyny; Auntie Diaries & LGBTQ+ themes; N95 and wokeness and such. Is it there a higher meaning? Is it just for controversy? I feel like the record is addressing both of these questions)

    All to say that not many artists can have a five-album run and still drive cultural discourse with the impact of each while also still being musically captivating. That alone makes Mr. Morale an unbelievable accomplishment.
     
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