By: Benjamin Mead
On Feb. 25, hip-hop artist Kid Cudi shocked listeners when he unexpectedly released Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon, his fourth studio album.
Without much promotion and few credible song leaks, Satellite Flight was an exciting surprise for devoted Cudi followers. Truly a musical journey, Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon exemplifies masterful composition, taking listeners on a complete trip through the mind of an artist.
Setting the mood for the journey, “Destination: Mother Moon” immediately tells listeners exactly where they’re headed. This song, along with “Balmain Jeans”, is reminiscent of an 80s pop group, giving off a sound similar to Depeche Mode.
One of the few songs that were made public prior to the album’s release, “Going To the Ceremony” features Cudi singing over a short, choppy guitar rift. Dot da Genius, his partner on his last studio album WZRD, produced three songs for Satellite Flight including “Satellite Flight” and “Too Bad I Have to Destroy You Now.”
After listening to the album, Radford University student Corey Reese said, “I think it’s a really well done album,” adding, “It reminds me of old Cudi, but with a lot of new elements. I really like ‘Copernicus Landing.’”
Purely an instrumental, “Copernicus Landing” displays musical production at its finest. Entrancing from the beginning, the deep synthesizer beats continue to rise in volume. Soon, short bell tones are heard. The voice that picks up is probably not Cudi, and is not singing words, rather than harmonizing with the instrumental. With all of these elements combined, it is easy to get lost in “Copernicus Landing.”
“Balmain Jeans” featuring Raphael Saadiq is an easy listen. As Raphael Saadiq provides soothing background vocals, Cudi delivers an emotionally impactful track. With lines like “I need you to protect my heart/ Give me your hand, put it here/This is where you start,” Cudi grabs his audience by the heart to get his message across.
How does and artist follow up an emotional song like “Balmain Jeans”? The only way Kid Cudi knew how to respond was with one of the most inspirational and triumphant tracks on the album, “Too Bad I Have To Destroy You Now”. His haunting chorus, which includes the lines, “When I walk in the room, they can’t look in my eyes”, will remind any original Cudi fan of his early work. His me against the world mentality he displayed on his debut studio album Man on the Moon: The End of Day is definitely reprised with this track.
With “Return of the Moon Man”, Cudi successfully captures the sound that so many artists are currently trying to achieve. Upon first impressions, this song sounds like it belongs on a Kanye West or Jay-Z album. Seeing as West brought Cudi into the hip-hop industry, his influence is shown in this song.
The album’s final track, “Troubled Boy,” takes listeners back to the simplistic style displayed on WZRD. Featuring only Cudi and a guitar, Cudi leaves his listeners on a somewhat depressing note compared to the previous nine tracks. Proclaiming, “No one wants a troubled boy/ show them you are stronger boy,” Cudi again displays his personal internal battles.
“Some of it’s just too dark for me,” said one RU student. “I really like some of his other music, but it took a lot for me to really enjoy this.”
For an unexpected album, Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon pleased a lot of fans by providing them with a glimpse into the mind of Kid Cudi. As for Cudi, this album is an original work of art, and with a sound all it’s own, Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon marks another stop on Kid Cudi’s journey. Where will he take us next?