In a move that caught us by surprise, Kid Cudi released his new project Satellite Flight: The Journey to the Mother Moon late on the night of Tuesday, February 25. Starting off as an EP, Satellite Flight was expanded into a ten-track LP and now serves as a prelude to the third instalment of his Man on the Moon series.
Known for taking ambient sounds and clashing them with heavy guitar riffs, Kid Cudi opens the album with the instrumental "Destination: Mother Moon," shortly followed by the title track, "Satellite Flight." While "Satellite Flight" celebrates Cudi's revered sounds, his vocals are drawn out and muttered, a trend that follows throughout the album, noticeable on both "Internal Bleeding" and "Going To The Ceremony." "Copernicus Landing," meanwhile, is one of the strongest songs on the album, spreading grainy synths and glitches over its quick percussion, leaving listeners only wishing Cudi's vocals were present.
The meticulous layering in Kid Cudi's solo production work, as well as the collaborative WZRD cuts, adhere to Satellite Flight's out-of-space ambience by letting heavy synths become the base of their beats. Kid Cudi's 'galaxy travelers' who've been following his musical growth since day one will recognize his early sound on "Too Bad I Have To Destroy You Now" and the Raphael Saadiq-assisted "Balmain Jeans." Surprisingly, pairing Saadiq's smooth vocals with Cudi's monotone vocals creates a seductive album highlight.
Satellite Flight: The Journey to the Mother Moon occupies a space between what is and what's coming, but Kid Cudi's admired originality falls short and is almost lacklustre here in comparison to his previous works. For what it is, Satellite Flight is somewhere lost in the galaxy with a few glimmers of light shining on it from other planets. (Wicked Awesome/Republic)