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Kid Cudi - Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin'

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Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin'

Kid Cudi

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Following the noble misstep of 2015's grunge-rap Speedin' Bullet 2 Heaven, Kid Cudi returns to introspective hip-hop weirdness on his sixth outing, Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin'. The sprawling effort finds Scott Mescudi in a new, healing state, fresh from a self-imposed hospitalization for depression and suicidal urges. Sonically, it recalls his early Man on the Moon period (production by Mike Dean and Plain Pat keep things consistent), but emotionally, it offers deeper therapy and catharsis. Running at one and a half hours, Passion is long and occasionally drags. Although split into four digestible "Acts," it tests the limits of the casual listener's patience. Fans should be pleased, however, by the wealth of new material. "Tuned," the album's first act, is one of the better portions, blending '90s trip-hop with a concoction of Kanye's 808s and Trent Reznor's Ghosts soundscapes. From the mournful atmospherics of "Releaser" and the languid "Frequency" to the catchy André 3000/Pharrell Williams island-tinged collaboration "By Design" and Mike WiLL Made It's popping "All In," "Tuned" sets the course for another intergalactic therapy session. Aptly titled "Therapy," the second act contains some of the best insights into Cudi's state of mind. On "ILLusions," he bids farewell "to the demons in my head," declaring "no more misery...free, free." On "Baptized in Fire," Travis Scott pleads with his "big bro" in a sweet moment of vulnerability, asking the Man on the Moon to phone home because he's needed. Yet, despite appearances by Willow Smith (on the beautiful dark twisted dirge "Rose Golden") and another from Pharrell ("Flight at First Sight/Advanced"), this act is where Passion's energy starts to lag. Third act "Niveaux de l'Amour" ("Levels of Love") is the only segment devoid of guests, kicking off with a one-two punch of hyper-horny sex jams. The throbbing "Dance 4 Eternity" is the mood-building foreplay to the blush-worthy "Distant Fantasies," in which Cudi promises, among other things, to "pound it 'til it's numb." However, as the track draws out, the only things getting numb are the listener's tolerance and attention span. Still, the latter half of the act manages to be one of the album's best stretches, from the cathartic "Wounds" -- where Cudi proclaims "I'mma sew these wounds myself" -- to the lovely "Mature Nature" and sweeping "Kitchen." Finishing on "It's Bright and Heaven Is Warm" -- a spin on DMX's It's Dark and Hell Is Hot -- Cudi soars like an eagle on "Cosmic Warrior" and reclaims his sense of self on the uplifting "Heart of a Lion" callback "The Commander," on which he reaffirms that he's "so in control." On closer "Surfin'," Pharrell takes the reins once again, sending Kid Cudi off on a horn-filled tribal wave. While the album could have been split into two thematically concise releases (or a single focused edit), Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin' breathes gravitas into the Kid Cudi discography, realigning his trajectory and hinting at hope, possibility, and, most importantly, recovery.
© Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo

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Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin'

Kid Cudi

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1
Frequency
00:04:58

Mike Dean, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Scott Mescudi, ComposerLyricist - Kid Cudi, Producer, MainArtist - Anthony Kilhoffer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Plain Pat, Producer - Patrick Reynolds, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2016 Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

2
Swim In The Light
00:04:29

Mike Dean, ComposerLyricist - Scott Mescudi, ComposerLyricist - Kid Cudi, Producer, MainArtist - Anthony Kilhoffer, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Tom Kahre, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

3
Releaser
00:05:27

Mike Dean, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Scott Mescudi, ComposerLyricist - Kid Cudi, Producer, MainArtist - Anthony Kilhoffer, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Plain Pat, Producer - Patrick Reynolds, ComposerLyricist - Tom Kahre, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kacy Hill, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Mike Steven Velez, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Danny Pravder, Piano, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2016 Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

4
By Design
00:04:17

André Benjamin, FeaturedArtist, ComposerLyricist - Scott Mescudi, ComposerLyricist - Pharrell Williams, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Kid Cudi, Producer, MainArtist - MICK GUZAUSKI, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Anthony Kilhoffer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Plain Pat, Producer, Additional Producer - Patrick Reynolds, ComposerLyricist - Mike Larson, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

5
All In
00:04:10

Scott Mescudi, ComposerLyricist - Kid Cudi, Producer, MainArtist - Anthony Kilhoffer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Michael L. Williams II, ComposerLyricist - A. Hogan, ComposerLyricist - Mike Will Made-It, Producer

℗ 2016 Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

6
ILLusions
00:04:16

Mike Dean, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Scott Mescudi, ComposerLyricist - Kid Cudi, Producer, MainArtist - Anthony Kilhoffer, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Tom Kahre, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

7
Rose Golden
00:04:37

Mike Dean, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Scott Mescudi, ComposerLyricist - Kid Cudi, Producer, MainArtist - Adam Michalak, Recording Engineer, Orchestra Contractor, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Anthony Kilhoffer, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Plain Pat, Producer - Patrick Reynolds, ComposerLyricist - Tom Kahre, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Willow Smith, FeaturedArtist - Mike Steven Velez, Orchestra Leader, AssociatedPerformer - James A. McMillen, Orchestra Leader, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2016 Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

8
Baptized In Fire
00:04:45

Mike Dean, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Scott Mescudi, ComposerLyricist - Kid Cudi, Producer, MainArtist - Anthony Kilhoffer, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Plain Pat, Producer - Patrick Reynolds, ComposerLyricist - Travis Scott, FeaturedArtist, ComposerLyricist - Tom Kahre, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

9
Flight At First Sight/Advanced
00:03:56

Scott Mescudi, ComposerLyricist - Pharrell Williams, Producer, FeaturedArtist, ComposerLyricist - Kid Cudi, MainArtist - MICK GUZAUSKI, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Anthony Kilhoffer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Larson, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Thomas Cullison, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

10
Does It
00:04:22

Scott Mescudi, ComposerLyricist - Kid Cudi, Producer, MainArtist - Adam Michalak, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Anthony Kilhoffer, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Idle, Producer, Programmer - Tom Kahre, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Steven Velez, Cello, Orchestra Leader, AssociatedPerformer - Danny Pravder, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - James A. McMillen, Orchestra Leader, AssociatedPerformer - Andre Patrick, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2016 Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

11
Dance 4 Eternity
00:04:43

Scott Mescudi, ComposerLyricist - Kid Cudi, Producer, MainArtist - Anthony Kilhoffer, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Plain Pat, Producer - Patrick Reynolds, ComposerLyricist - Tom Kahre, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

12
Distant Fantasies
00:04:47

Scott Mescudi, ComposerLyricist - Kid Cudi, Producer, MainArtist - Anthony Kilhoffer, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Patrick Reynolds, ComposerLyricist - Gerhard Trede, ComposerLyricist - Tom Kahre, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

13
Wounds
00:04:03

Scott Mescudi, ComposerLyricist - Kid Cudi, Producer, MainArtist - Anthony Kilhoffer, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, Programmer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Julian Gramma, ComposerLyricist - Tom Kahre, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Julian Gramm, Producer, Programmer

℗ 2016 Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

14
Mature Nature
00:03:55

Scott Mescudi, ComposerLyricist - Kid Cudi, Producer, MainArtist - Adam Michalak, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Anthony Kilhoffer, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Plain Pat, Producer - Patrick Reynolds, ComposerLyricist - Tom Kahre, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Steven Velez, Orchestra Leader, AssociatedPerformer - James A. McMillen, Orchestra Leader, AssociatedPerformer - Sandy Kipp, Orchestra Contractor, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2016 Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

15
Kitchen
00:04:28

Scott Mescudi, ComposerLyricist - Kid Cudi, Producer, MainArtist - Adam Michalak, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Anthony Kilhoffer, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Plain Pat, Producer - Oladipo Omishore, ComposerLyricist - Patrick Reynolds, ComposerLyricist - Dot Da Genius, Producer - Tom Kahre, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jaden, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Mike Steven Velez, Orchestra Leader, AssociatedPerformer - James A. McMillen, Orchestra Leader, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2016 Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

16
Cosmic Warrior
00:04:00

Scott Mescudi, ComposerLyricist - Kid Cudi, MainArtist - Adam Michalak, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Anthony Kilhoffer, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Oladipo Omishore, ComposerLyricist - Dot Da Genius, Producer - Tom Kahre, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Steven Velez, Orchestra Leader, AssociatedPerformer - James A. McMillen, Orchestra Leader, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2016 Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

17
The Guide
00:05:06

André Benjamin, FeaturedArtist, ComposerLyricist - Scott Mescudi, ComposerLyricist - Kid Cudi, Producer, MainArtist - Anthony Kilhoffer, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Plain Pat, Producer - Oladipo Omishore, ComposerLyricist - Dot Da Genius, Producer - Tom Kahre, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

18
The Commander
00:04:16

Mike Dean, Additional Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Scott Mescudi, ComposerLyricist - Kid Cudi, Producer, MainArtist - Anthony Kilhoffer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Plain Pat, Producer - Patrick Reynolds, ComposerLyricist - Thomas Cullison, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

19
Surfin'
00:06:15

Scott Mescudi, ComposerLyricist - Pharrell Williams, Producer, FeaturedArtist, ComposerLyricist - Brent Paschke, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Kid Cudi, MainArtist - MICK GUZAUSKI, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Alex Iles, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Doug Tornquist, Tuba, AssociatedPerformer - Anthony Kilhoffer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dan Fornero, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Mike Larson, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rob Schaer, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Jim McMillen, Horn Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Thomas Cullison, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Steven Velez, Horn Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Trapani, Bass Trombone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2016 Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Album Description

Following the noble misstep of 2015's grunge-rap Speedin' Bullet 2 Heaven, Kid Cudi returns to introspective hip-hop weirdness on his sixth outing, Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin'. The sprawling effort finds Scott Mescudi in a new, healing state, fresh from a self-imposed hospitalization for depression and suicidal urges. Sonically, it recalls his early Man on the Moon period (production by Mike Dean and Plain Pat keep things consistent), but emotionally, it offers deeper therapy and catharsis. Running at one and a half hours, Passion is long and occasionally drags. Although split into four digestible "Acts," it tests the limits of the casual listener's patience. Fans should be pleased, however, by the wealth of new material. "Tuned," the album's first act, is one of the better portions, blending '90s trip-hop with a concoction of Kanye's 808s and Trent Reznor's Ghosts soundscapes. From the mournful atmospherics of "Releaser" and the languid "Frequency" to the catchy André 3000/Pharrell Williams island-tinged collaboration "By Design" and Mike WiLL Made It's popping "All In," "Tuned" sets the course for another intergalactic therapy session. Aptly titled "Therapy," the second act contains some of the best insights into Cudi's state of mind. On "ILLusions," he bids farewell "to the demons in my head," declaring "no more misery...free, free." On "Baptized in Fire," Travis Scott pleads with his "big bro" in a sweet moment of vulnerability, asking the Man on the Moon to phone home because he's needed. Yet, despite appearances by Willow Smith (on the beautiful dark twisted dirge "Rose Golden") and another from Pharrell ("Flight at First Sight/Advanced"), this act is where Passion's energy starts to lag. Third act "Niveaux de l'Amour" ("Levels of Love") is the only segment devoid of guests, kicking off with a one-two punch of hyper-horny sex jams. The throbbing "Dance 4 Eternity" is the mood-building foreplay to the blush-worthy "Distant Fantasies," in which Cudi promises, among other things, to "pound it 'til it's numb." However, as the track draws out, the only things getting numb are the listener's tolerance and attention span. Still, the latter half of the act manages to be one of the album's best stretches, from the cathartic "Wounds" -- where Cudi proclaims "I'mma sew these wounds myself" -- to the lovely "Mature Nature" and sweeping "Kitchen." Finishing on "It's Bright and Heaven Is Warm" -- a spin on DMX's It's Dark and Hell Is Hot -- Cudi soars like an eagle on "Cosmic Warrior" and reclaims his sense of self on the uplifting "Heart of a Lion" callback "The Commander," on which he reaffirms that he's "so in control." On closer "Surfin'," Pharrell takes the reins once again, sending Kid Cudi off on a horn-filled tribal wave. While the album could have been split into two thematically concise releases (or a single focused edit), Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin' breathes gravitas into the Kid Cudi discography, realigning his trajectory and hinting at hope, possibility, and, most importantly, recovery.
© Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo

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