After lengthy delays, Kanye West has finally released the much-anticipated Jesus Is King, and it could have benefited from staying in church longer.
I don’t know if Kanye West went to church as a kid, but if he did, he should have known that church services, especially in African-American churches, last a lot longer than his latest album does.
Titled Jesus Is King, this is Kanye’s first stab at an all-gospel record, one that he hinted at, but few of us thought he was serious about. After many delays, we finally have the finished product, and to be honest, a good chunk of the record still feels as if it hasn’t crossed the production finish line.
Granted, this may have been what Kanye was aiming for, using minimalism in the sound to amplify the message of the album. The end result is an EP (I can’t bring myself to call it an LP, more on that in a bit) that sounds good in spurts, but as a whole just doesn’t fill the soul.
For starters, the album is too short, clocking in at just barely over 27 minutes, you’re basically in and out of the album with a quickness, which is a problem here. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Kanye West record or some up-and-comer if you’re trying to push a message as important as God, a 27-minute record is not nearly enough time for the audience to digest the offering.
For seconds, most of the tracklist either doesn’t fit or was too short to enjoy.
I (and I suspect many others) would have thought that Kanye was going to showcase his Sunday Service Choir in all of its glory. He did, on just one song, the somewhat eerie “Every Hour.” The rest of the album is Kanye intervening religion with his usual sound –which doesn’t sound bad — but, for a gospel record, a song like “Everything We Need,” featuring Ty Dolla $ign and Ant Clemons, doesn’t belong here, and tracks like “God Is” were too good to be so short.
At the end of the day, we waited untold months for Kanye West’s gospel album, and what we got in Jesus Is King was an EP that should have used a bit more time in Sunday School.