Kanye West’s 9th studio album is once again a sharp departure from previous projects. He abandons what made him famous to return to what made him famous. Jesus Walks. The song that changed how music looks at religion has been rendered at Ye’s Sunday Services many times this year, and Kanye is supposedly born again. Let’s see what a newly baptized West comes up with in JESUS IS KING. Every Hour is simply the Sunday Service choir singing an upbeat chorus on how Jesus is so important in every waking moment of his follower’s lives. Selah is the real dark, brooding intro to this album, and features a new writing style from Kanye.
Gone are any swear words, but he still keeps the energy going throughout the whole track. It is incredibly refreshing, and the “hallelujahs” are incredible tension builders. Follow God is something you might find on The Life of Pablo, especially with the “stretch my hands” solo. The flow is so good on this track, but it’s also really, really short. I wish so badly that it was longer, even just like two and a half minutes. This would have been one of Ye’s best had he done that. Anyways, moving on to Closed on Sunday, a song dedicated entirely to the fast food restaurant Chick-Fil-A. One of the corniest lines of the year has been delivered multiple times on this slow track, but hey, you have to do what you have to do. On God is the typical trap song, with production coming from Pi’erre Bourne. Playboi Carti would definitely be at home on this beat, and it’s interesting to see Kanye put his own spin on it, even if he cut the line referencing XXXTENTACION.
Next, we have Everything We Need, a renamed track from Yandhi, the scrapped album of last year. XXXTENTACION’s verse was cut, and another Kanye verse was added, but otherwise, the song is essentially the same. We then move to Water, a funky guitar beat housing an extremely weak Kanye verse. God Is is a marvelous display of love and emotion. Repurposing a 70s gospel song, Ye adds his extremely emotional vocals that show his genuine love for God and Christ. Hands On is a Saint Pablo-esque track that features true gospel singer Fred Hammond. The verse on this one is excellent, and Hammond’s vocals are so wonderful to listen to. Use This Gospel is another Yandhi track that has been repurposed for the better. The song reunites Clipse and even invites Kenny G for an orgasmic saxophone solo. The album’s outro, Jesus is Lord, is a shortened version of the same song from West’s IMAX film. Overall, the album has some extremely high points, but also has some low points, especially lyrically. It’s still a great album, but is nowhere close to Ye’s previous body of work.