Man On the Moon III: The Chosen - A Mini Review

Look, I really wanted to sit here and write you a Pitchfork-esque review on MOTM3 but I'm learning that perhaps that’s just not my style. So I'll give you my thoughts as I wrote them out on my first listen. I have always been a fan of Kid Cudi's commitment to raising awareness around mental health, especially mental health issues in men. In a world full of money, cars & bitches, Scott Mescudi stands out for his merciless honesty around his own battles with depression and loneliness. My early favorites from the album: Tequila Shots, Mr. Solo Dolo III, Sad People, The Void, Lovin’ Me.

The 18 track project opens with Beautiful Trip, an interlude thats aptly named- knowing Finneas O Connel (AKA Billie Eilish’s older brother) contributed to the production of this album opener makes it 100x better. Quickly transitioning into a poppy second track, Tequila Shots, Mescudi shows off that singing voice that we all know and adore. He instantly hits on the familiar themes of an existential struggle, staying consistent with his first two installments of the Man on the Moon trilogy. If it were 2019 and we were all forced into the club with our extroverted friends, this would 100% be the soundtrack, remixed by some shitty DJ, and we’d be nodding our heads along to the chorus “this time I’m ready for it, can’t stop this war in me.” As soon as track 3, Another Day, begins I start wondering how much involvement Travis Scott had on this album production or if Kid Cudi’s style is just starting to emulate Travis Scott’s so much that I can’t tell the difference in this autotuned universe. Turns out he is no where to be found on the credits for this track, or the next, She Knows This, which also screams Astroworld to me. 

Now things are starting to pick up with Dive, with Mescudi walking us through a night out with Mr. Rager, his alter ego. Maintaining his personal storytelling style on this track, we see Kevin Parker of Tame Impala on the credited list of writers, as Love/Paranoia is sampled. Track 6, Damaged is really where I began to notice the ~Cudi Hum~ make its long awaited return from its rise to fame on Reborn à la KIDS SEE GHOSTS. Heaven on Earth essentially just features more humming on a more traditionally produced rap song. 

Okay, I couldn’t love every record right? My exact notes listening to Show Out (with Skepta & Pop Smoke): “do i have to like this song because Pop Smoke is featured (RIP)? I feel like I should but it didn't hit the same for me...nice placement on the tracklist but otherwise not super impressed.” I’ll just leave it at that. To my 3 readers, please don’t come for me because of this TYSM. Loved tracks 9 & 10, Mr. Solo Dolo III & Sad People. It’s 2020 and its been an objectively terrible year, if you can’t relate to these tracks then I’m seriously questioning if we lived through the same global pandemic. Elsie’s Baby Boy had nothing much for me to report on.

Something personal about myself: I love dates. I love remembering distinct things that happened on specific dates, I remember everyone’s birthday, all of my playlists are titled by date so I can remember how I was feeling at unique times in my life. For that reason I really appreciate track 12, Sept.16, knowing whatever story Kid Cudi is telling is tied to a specific time in his life. Perfectly transitioning into The Void, my first thought was “Can Kid Cudi hum to me forever? I'd fall in the void with him.” 

If you know me well, you likely did a CTRL-F for “Phoebe” and landed here. Welcome. Yes Lovin’ Me (with Phoebe Bridgers)  was one of my favorite tracks off the album..shocker.This is a duo I never thought I'd see but the open discussion on mental health in both of their lyrics is a match made in heaven. Loneliness, fear, internalizing thoughts, existential dread - all themes that both Phoebe & Scott are known for. The harmonies nearly brought me to tears, in fact my friend texted me “this song should be illegal” and I completely agree. We don’t deserve this collab (which was born from a Twitter interaction between the real fans know how much I love Twitter ;)).

The Pale Moonlight: no major thoughts but easy listening. Quickly picking up speed with Rockstar Knights (with Trippie Redd): The classic club anthem when clubs reopen in 2022 ... there had to be one and I'm here for it. I really loved 4 Da Kidz.. very sweet writing on this one. I wish I was 15 when I heard this for the first time. Kid Cudi is setting an example for artists on how to approach thoughtful lyricism to influence young listeners. Ending the review with likely an unpopular opinion - I think we could have gone without an 18th track. Lord I Know didn't do anything special for me. Oh but dropping the to be continued at the end gave me chills so it was worth it. Overall, I'd give this album a solid “would recommend to a friend.” *

If you made it to the end of my Saturday evening ramble, thank you. I seriously appreciate you caring about my opinions/thoughts and supporting my creative outlet. 

*sonika’s review system in order of best to worst:

drop everything you're doing and put this on
would recommend to a friend
listen in the background at work
save yourself the time

What's your opinion?

Trending now