Kids See Ghosts is a fine album title, but I don’t see the point of using it as a group name. It seems unnecessary, silly even, to use one at all. Kanye West did an album with Jay-Z, and Jay-Z did two with R Kelly, without any pseudonyms. That this set, one of what will reportedly become several seven-song releases from West’s Good Music label, begins with a verse by Pusha T is even more confusing.
It’s the quality of the music that should matter most, of course, and there it’s mostly a middling affair. The beats, which sound like lo-fi hip-hop experiments, do sound good, but they’re too often met with vastly inferior, sometimes downright annoying, vocals. Freeee and Feel The Love both contain grating examples of the latter. It isn’t until the end, literally the final song, that a memorable chorus arises.
my rating = 3 of 5
A man and woman lose their kid. That’s not the stupid euphemism often used for death. They literally lose him at a gas station one day. The presumption is that he was kidnapped; the premise for a potentially engrossing story; but director Reed Morano ruins it by skipping to the boring epilogue. That means we’re forced to watch the parents mope, and mope, as uneventful month by uneventful month goes by.
The movie focuses more on the woman, played by a mildly attractive Olivia Wilde, as she goes down a spiral that is odd and even a little absurd. Eating old cookie crumbs, smoking crack, having sex with strangers; her naked ass in the porn scene is the best part; and pedophile-stalking little boys may be a part of her personality, but it seems unlikely simply losing a child of her own would make her do such things.
my rating = 2 of 5
The hooks on the first two songs are annoying. R Kelly, for one, sounds silly stretching the word “world” out to so many syllables. But neither is as bad as on a song called Higher, which is practically unbearable. There is “GOOD” music here, yes, but most of it is confined to the actual music; the instrumental beats, which, even without Kanye West at the helm, thump with artistic flair. The raps are neither here nor there; there aren’t really any stand-out MCs in Kanye’s clique; though feature verses from Ghostface Killah and Jadakiss serve as pleasant surprises. Song highlights include Don’t Like; an updated version of the Chief Keef song, which isn’t at all appropriate as the ending to an album that represents a record label he’s not signed to; Sin City and The One.
my rating = 3 of 5