The biggest of big deals in 2017: a new full-length album from Kendrick Lamar himself. Damn features fairly large guests like Rihanna and, um, U2, but Kendrick doesn’t need any big-name support to tell a narrative and craft wonderful beats. This soon-to-be-album-of-the-year record is released by Polydor.
Vinyl Double LP £23.99 5761828
2LP on Polydor.
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CD £11.99 5761175
CD on Polydor.
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Under no circumstances do you need Norman Records dot com to tell you that there’s a new Kendrick record, nor that we feel any way in particular about it. The rundown is that his half-time of ‘Untitled Unmastered’ is over and he continues to stagger down the grandiose path that the massive, encompassing and pretty amazing ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ led him down. Nodding to the record with a sample of someone on Fox News taking umbrage with his line on racist police brutality on that record’s “Alright”, this record starts on the same life and restlessness as that record but moves with a completely different strand of his sound.
It’s extremely good, as always, his tunes more chaotic and outwardly experimental, the cluttered and devastated production often existing with meticulous carelessness alongside his delivery. It slides between pace and intensity and dozing adlib; it sweeps the rug from under with a reckless delicacy on tunes like “Element”, and it brings Rihanna and U2 onto the same album, thank you so much. For that alone it stands out for me, but this is, as always, a massive Kendrick record.
9/10 Noel Savage 24th July 2017
Damn. is simply one of the finest hip-hop albums of the past 10 years, perhaps longer. Dealing with highly personal memories and introspection, it is a deeply meaningful record of a quality that few, if any, rival rap artists will reach.
Beginning with a tale of the narrator's death and ending with another fried chicken saving that same narrators life, as well as the sins, pitfalls, and the reality of being the greatest rapper alive, it is an album of unprecedented scope in the genre, and should not be ignored.
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