Act 1: The End of Day
1. In My Dreams (Cudder Anthem) – This was quite the orchestral entrance into Man On the Moon: The End of Day. With splashes of ambient sounds, mixed with trippy glazed beats, this song serves as the opening elixir into the mind of the Moon Man. A spoken word by Common sets the stage for Act 1. “This is the story of a man who not only believed in himself, but in his dreams too” Common says. While this song is supposed to serve as the “I can’t believe I’m here!” moment, Cudi’s tone is still somewhat wrapped in paranoia.
2. Soundtrack 2 My Life – The opening line is “I got 99 problems, and they all bitches.” Nuff said. It’s the purging of Cudi’s emotions on paper, where hidden feelings come to light backed by intricately placed nodding beats.
3. Simple As… – The mantra “A-B-C” is hugged by heavy drums that erupt into this tribal symphony. Cudi has successfully mastered the art of Sing-Rap. And why? Because it’s apparent that he can do both quite well. This is a combination that not too many can successfully pull off. Common arrives just in time to toot the horns for Act Two.
Act 2: The Rise of the Night Terror
4. Solo Dolo (nightmare) – This song is a dark and creepy entry into Cudi’s world of paranoia. It sounds like a spooky version of “Day N Nite” through Cudi’s dealings with loneliness set to the backdrop of nighttime.
5. Heart of a Lion (Kid Cudi Theme Music) – This could categorically be considered a House record. This is one of those rare instances where stellar production doesn’t carry the lyrics. Rather, the lyrics accompany the stellar production. If you’re looking for Cudi to be tugging on your heartstrings with his tales of sadness think again. That’s all there, but in this case you come for the music and eventually stay for the words.
6. My World f. Billy Cravens – This one is an audio-biography, where Cudi laments on being the artsy clownish figure to hide his darkness. “As I grew to be a teen, I disguised myself,” he says, once again hiding the real him.
Act 3: Taking a Trip
7. Day N Nite (nightmare) – What better way to celebrate the “trip” chapter than re visit this classic gem? Even if old this belongs here and is much more understandable now within the grand scheme of the album. Paranoia? Check. Loneliness? Check. Nighttime? Check. The end gets chopped and screwed, which is kind of odd but kind of cool at the same time.
8. Sky Might Fall – This song we’ve heard before. Cudi is aware of the threat of no tomorrow but living for today. “Sky might fall, but I’m not worried at all,” he says. The end flows into a series of jittery yet harmonizing “I keep on runnin’s”. You say you’re sick of runnin, Cudi? Now you know how Ye feels!
9. Enter Galactic (Love Connection Part 1) – A full-bodied dance track, reminiscent of the ‘90s MTV Party to Go Era, but to be taken more seriously.
Act 4: Stuck
10. Alive (nightmare) f. RATATAT – Cudi’s rap on this track sounds nothing like him. The RATATAT production on this is pretty sexy and synthy, where Cudi slides through the beat with confidence, but still seems to ponder “do they really like me?”
11. Cudi Zone – This one is very synth-heavy and despite the fact that Kanye didn’t produce it, his fingerprints are all over it. This one sounded like the ‘80s, Men at Work even, plus a pocketful of 808s and Cudi lyrically on point.
12. Make Her Say f. Kanye West and Common – The Lady Gaga “Poker Face” sample sounds as if she was part of the track the way M.I.A. was on “S.L.U.” While this song has already been played ad nauseam thanks to the internets, it still sounds better within the context of the whole album.
13. Pursuit of Happiness (nightmare) f. MGMT & RATATAT – This song was a vortex that sucked almost everyone in the room into it. Starting out with mildly distorted feedback that dissipates into an airy and bubbly trip, the song is not without Cudi’s mind numbing lyrics about death and the what-ifs.
Act 5: A New Beginning
14. Hyerr f. Chip the Ripper – This one had a smooth southern drawl to it, sounding like an Outkast song on sleeping pills. While Cudi isn’t promoting ambient-laced dreams he’s sounding, dare we say, sexy.
15. Up Up & Away – A punchy way to end his play. Electric guitars that give way to thumping drums, where each instrument is introduced in order. It’s the culmination of Cudi’s life set to music, similar to the end of the Glow In the Dark Tour, carrying the same tone of acceptance with the life you’ve been given. This song was the best possible End of the Day that the Man on the Moon could have offered.
After previewing Man on the Moon: The End of Day, You realize that Kid Cudi and Kanye West should probably have the same therapist. Despite being the internet’s smedium hero, Kid Cudi crafted a work that’s meant to be held in your hands – like a worn piece of vinyl, complete with DJ scratches. Cudi does an excellent job of not letting the production dictate his mood entirely, which creates a contrast between sound and feeling that will one day be known as that signature Kid Cudi style. Epic, obscure, and introspective, Kid Cudi did everything he was supposed to, securing his spot as the new tortured genius.
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