For fans only.
Expectation: Kid Cudi began his career with the extremely successful Man on the Moon: The End of Day, and has largely been riding that album’s success ever since, failing to produce anything near the polish and scope of his debut album. Many fans thought his most recent work prior to PP&DS, the infamous Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven, was the nail in the coffin for his career; however, after a few decent singles and cosigns from Pharrell and Andre 3000, many began to think there was hope for the album after all.
- Frequency – The first single from the album, as well as the first reason hip hop fans were cautiously optimistic, as its a pretty decent song. Some of Cudi’s moaning is a bit ridiculous, but the overall vibe of the song is very laid back, which is what most of Cudi’s fans want from him.
- Swim In the Light – The production here is really nice, but the song doesn’t go anywhere, and the place it is at the start really isn’t that interesting.
- Releaser – Another song that has a nice atmosphere but not much else, henceforth referred to as ‘Filler’.
- By Design – A fun reggae-influenced track, reminiscent of certain tracks from Young Thug’s Jeffery (which once shared a release date with this album). 3stacks sounds pretty good with autotune, and Cudi’s humming and moans are unusually energetic. Of course I wish Andre had a verse, but beggars can’t be choosers, and I’m just glad he has a significant amount of vocals.
- All In – One of the better hooks on the album and a decent beat, though the song is a bit longer than it has any reason to be.
- ILLusions – Another song with a chill atmosphere and a decent performance from Cudi, but nothing that makes it stand out in any way.
- Rose Golden – One of the best hooks on the album, some really fun string breaks and a brass flourish to the beat, and suddenly the same sound that has pervaded every track is engaging and interesting.
- Baptized In Fire – Exactly what you would expect from a Kid Cudi x Travi$ Scott collab, though that unfortunately includes the song being about a full minute longer than it needs to be. Still pretty good and more interesting than Cudi’s solo tracks.
- Flight at First Sight/Advanced – The beat here heavily reminds me of For My People, but Cudi unsurprisingly makes a completely different kind of track out of it. The beat change midway through is fantastic though, with Cudi actually showing off a nice flow, albeit briefly.
- Does It – I don’t want to oversimplify this to “Strings make it better”, but everything really does seem to come together whenever there are strings on the track: Cudi raps better, the hook is catchier, and the entire song just has more life.
- Dance 4 Eternity – A very okay song that has no reason to be almost 5 minutes long.
- Distant Fantasies – Filler.
- Wounds – Filler.
- Mature Nature – Filler.
- Kitchen – The counterargument to “Strings make it better”.
- Cosmic Warrior – The production here is actually pretty interesting, but Cudi’s song structure seems to just be hooks and interludes, without anything that can really be labeled a “verse” to be seen.
- The Guide – Would probably be another filler, but one of the greatest geniuses ever to write a rhyme graced us with a verse, so it’ll be in my rotation for at least the next few years.
- The Commander – The acoustic guitar is a fun addition, and the percussion is a bit more lively than most other tracks.
- Surfin’ – The second single, as well as the one that made me have real hope for this album. Its a simple song, but has a very fun energy and an extremely catchy hook, and the album version adds a great outro.
Overall: This is a really great album if you take matters into your own hands and trim the tracklist. At 87 minutes there is plenty of time to be cut without leaving the album lacking in length; personally, I cut it down to 11 tracks (50 minutes) and have been loving it ever since (If you want my tracklist, I kept tracks 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 16, 17, 18, 19). I actually wish this were the real tracklist, because it would receive a slightly higher score, and I really did want this album to be good. Not to say that the middle section and other filler tracks are bad; they’re just uninspired, without much going on. Overall, PP&D is still nowhere near the quality of Cudi’s debut, but can certainly stand alongside Man on the Moon II and Indicud as a decent addition to his discography.