Kendrick Lamar throws out a surprise companion set to his much-loved To Pimp A Butterfly album from last year. untitled unmastered is a set of 8 outtakes from that record’s sessions, many of them carrying an especially jazzy vibe. Not everything sounds fully finished, but that’s the fascination: we get to hear Lamar in the midst of his creative process. Minimally-packaged CD release on Interscope.
8/10 Shahin Customer review, 18th January 2017
This LP is essentially a compilation composed of B-sides and tracks that didn't make it onto Kendrick Lamar's phenomenal, socially-conscious and spiritually charged project, To Pimp a Butterfly (2015). 'Untitled, Unmastered' explores similar themes to the ones on his previous LP. If To Pimp a Butterfly was his Opus, this album is by no means a weak follow up: Kendrick takes us through a journey of untitled, numbered tracks. The record opens with an eery, unsettling atmosphere, hi-hats rattling about and we're introduced to Bilal's voice, opening the track up with a thick, silky spoken-word vocal. The first track is essentially Kendrick's personalised premonition of the Book of Revelations and explores his struggle with faith - in fact, the entire LP is heavily laden in religious references.
3 of the tracks were performed (albeit in different versions) on late night talk shows, and at the 2016 Grammy Awards, but the studio versions were never intended to be released! However, after the Grammy performance, professional basketball player LeBron James tweeted Anthony Tiffith, head of Lamar’s record label Top Dawg Entertainment, asking for the studio versions - it was released only a week later!
And if you want to know more, I'd advise you stop reading and buy the LP!
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- untitled unmastered. by Kendrick Lamar
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