Sunday Service Choir - Jesus is Born
Sunday Service Choir
Jesus is Born
There are a couple of things that are of note about this new Kanye West-ish album. First it was incredibly released on time, Christmas Day, a shocking development for any West fronted project. Second unlike Jesus is King this is not a hybrid album, it is straight up Gospel. So it's somewhat hard to evaluate this album; is it Kanye? Is it the Choir? Who knows. Watching the group perform you tend to notice that the Choir Director Jason White not Kanye steers the ship. He is the one who seems to be pushing for this sound, guiding the choir and dictating when things run or when they stay tight. White is almost completely in control during these sessions except for when Kanye comes in and adds something contemporary or funky. This album is not contemporary nor is it funky. As with a lot of Kanye West productions this record feels like it was recorded in a day, almost no care given to the engineering or production. Most of the tracks are just vocals and a piano, save for a few horns here and there like on "Revelations 19:1". The thing about this phase of Kanye West is that it feels like a step backwards. This is not some new and exciting development of who Kanye West is as an artist, it is more of a resignation to his history. It's like a brand new born again Christian or brand new Vegan, they can't talk about anything else, they can't think about anything else because this has become the thrust of their personality. How many people do we have to watch get older, get scared about death and suddenly turn to religion for solace. It's a cop out and a way to ease one's mind without actually doing the existential work.
This record unlike Kanye's recent work is painfully long. At almost an hour and a half Jesus is Born never deviates from it's religious zealotry, nor does it really find any other point. With an album this long you would expect the message to be at least somewhat varied, but it really isn't. Am I saying that religious music can't be good? No. What I am saying is you have to have some kind of new messaging for us to take notice. Touring with Joel fucking Olsteen is no way for me to think you aren't cooking up some kind of scheme. You can see how Kanye used some of these songs to build his Jesus is King album around, but here they lack any sort of creativity. You could hear these songs at damn near every church every Sunday so what is the point of listening to this album? I don't know, and I also don't know where this road leaves for Kanye. I hope his mind finds peace, I just wish it wasn't old timely religion that lead him there.
6.8 out of