Album Review: Kanye West’s “Jesus is King”

Sadie Johnson Sieben, page editor

Some might say Kanye West has gone off the deep-end with his latest album, whereas others are excited to see the “new” Christian Kanye. “Jesus is King” could be considered his purest album so far out of his eleven albums. Even though the album is only 27 minutes long, it is West’s ninth consecutive number 1 album on the Billboard charts. 

Although this Christian Gospel album might seem different to listeners, it is another album similar to what he has done musically before, just with gospel lyrics and a holy mindset. There are multiple similarities in the musicality between one of West’s slightly older songs, “Waves,” featured on “The Life of Pablo,” and “Water,” a track on “Jesus is King,” and it is not just the topic of water. West has been known to include gospel-like chorus in “Waves”. The lyric “We are water, pure as water, like a newborn daughter” is used in West’s song “Water.” This is just one attempt of how he has portrayed a new sense of purity to display God’s love in his album. Accompanying West on this album is the Sunday Service Choir, which is a gospel-rap group led by West, in the track “Every Hour”, they dominate the song with their singing which sounds like a normal Hymn.

Recently, West has made it very open to the public that he is religiously affiliated. Most of the lyrics include messages of love and community. In “Hands On,” West refers to police racial profiling within the first minute which isn’t in character with his “Make America Great Again” and “Chick-fil-A” personality; it contradicts his support of Trump and very religious companies such as Chick-fil-A. This is just one contradictory value he has displayed in this album especially since he talks in admiration towards the restaurant. Protest against law enforcement for racial profiling and LGBTQ support are usually on the left side of politics whereas West has been known to be on the right side publicly.

Now that West has decided to pursue a different music taste is there a chance that this won’t just be a one-time thing? Will he continue to make only gospel music? These are questions that have come to my mind after listening to the album. The musical aspect of the music is of high quality and produced well, much like his other albums. The lyrics may be Christian but I would debate you don’t have to be Christian to enjoy the album. Considering the catchy lyrics and beats that drop I would rate the album a 7/10 which I have basically given points for music production and quality versus theme and subject.