After much speculation and rumors, Kid Cudi decided to treat fans with a surprise launch of his latest project Satellite Flight: Journey to Mother Moon. The follow-up to his independently released Indicud and his later project continues the same journey into the tortured soul and experimental that has become the Cleveland artist’s niche. Stepping onto his musical spaceship, Cudder tries to take listeners on an intergalactic ride of electronic, rock, punk, alternative, and synth-pop to further abduct the eardrums of the “outcast” youth and bridge the gap between his ill-received last effort and his future endeavors.
One connecting theme between all Cudi’s projects is the theme and his devotion to the musicality and production. Opening with a brooding, moody number in “Destination:Mother Moon” sets up the following “Going to the Ceremony”, which is one of the album’s strongest tracks in its simplicity. The WZRD-produced track finds the troubled artist taking off and tranversing over a reverberating guitar-riff and percussive stomps that mix well with his vocals. A well-placed lead single that is arguably the projects most thrilling, emotional listen.
The following “Satellite Flight” tries to build off the jet-powered emotion of the previous tunes, but falls short in Cudi’s lack of finding the right pitch. It’s almost like taking a drug-induced ride that quickly moves from the euphoric to overdose territory. The break comes in the extended-interlude “Copernicus Landing”, but the computerized beat gets tiring after the first minute listen.
The interlude switches the moment to the sexual Raphael Saadiq-assisted “Balmain Jeans”. Although the attempt to slow down the rhythm and become sensual does little to entice or even excite. The placement of the track also doesn’t flow well with the following Dot Da Genius-produced “Too bad I have to Destroy You Now”. This sparkly, synth-driven beat mixed with Cudi’s flow goes well to capture his depressed state of emotion.
Quickly the starry rhythms and synth, computerized beats become stale as the later half of the album progresses. “Internal Bleeding” just finds Cudi whining into a megaphone about heartbreak and “In My Dreams 2015” focuses so much on the space-travel aesthetic that it just comes across as an ill-placed filler, much like the last two efforts of the album.
The fault in Satellite Flight: Return to Mother Moon is the lack of balance between the conceptual and the well executed. Cudi has always kept the recurring theme that he is a misunderstood and otherworldly artist, but this effort just leaves listeners a little lost in translation. Switching from the rap persona to the rock, punk-esque crooning over a track was intended to capture his raw emotion but on this recent release, it just comes across as grating and bordering the line of the stale. I understand where he was taken listeners on this musical journey, but the ride would have been better off free in the form of an EP.