Review: Damn. by Kendrick Lamar

Damn. by Kendrick LamarExpectations are, naturally, high. To Pimp A Butterfly was seen as an epoch-marking record, and whatever Kendrick Lamar releases next will have double, triple the anticipation (never mind the surprise release of a collection of demos). Damn. now has to live up to its predecessor, and it attempts to do so in a more subtle way. It’s like he’s gone to that phase where everything’s immortalized – he’s not resisting, he’s still feeling things, but you get the feeling he’s a little more resigned than before. Damn. is quieter: less tonal shifts, but not that far apart from its predecessor, the result being a stronger focus on his already outstanding storytelling. When you have less to listen to – despite the number of collaborators, from Rihanna to BadBadNotGood to U2, you don’t really notice them – you tend to pay attention to the story more, and Kendrick’s attempt to go full circle shines on its own. [NB]4/5

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