Review On Black Panther Album

Kim Metso

Kim Metso

Ami Yoshimura, Reporter

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The movie Black Panther has been a hit, grossing and surpassing over one billion dollars in sales. Along with the monumental success of the movie, the album Black Panther: The Album has also been a huge sensation. Produced and curated by Kendrick Lamar and Top Dawg Entertainment founder, Anthony Tiffith, the album has a solid structure and great performances from various artists.

The album, like the movie, has gained widespread attention due to its embodiment of black culture and diversity in character. Some songs have a contemporary R&B feel, while others fall under pop. There are lots of repetitive phrasing, slick flows, and upbeat melodies. In fact, the Rolling Stoned has deemed it “bleak, beautiful, propulsive, and spacious – a sci-fi sound for an Afrofuturist fable”, stating that above all, “it’s an affirmation of Kendrick Lamar’s powers, a fascinating entry in a discography that is inarguably the decade’s deepest.”

However, the album has taken criticism from many including Vice, who has commentated on the albums commercial use. Vice wrote that “there is room to wonder what the outcome would have been if Kendrick and the rest of TDE swapped out James Blake and a few American rappers for artists like Jamaica’s Spice, Brazil’s Karol Conká, Nigeria’s Burna Boy, Cameroon’s Jovi, or Switzerland’s Zeal & Ardor, to name a few”. They comment on how “it could have made an equally-remarkable accompanying musical piece to Black Panther. But if those chances are never taken, especially with platforms as big as Marvel in support, we may not get to see what an artistic coming-together could really do for diasporic relations.” Although the album’s technical execution is great, there are commercial reasons behind the selection of people featured that limited diversity and the potential for the album.

Overall, Black Panther: The Album is well crafted and spotlights African talent and personality well, reflecting major parts of the movie. Lyrically and musically, it is arranged strong and is definitely a unique album that should be listened to.

Breakdown of the album and the songs:

  1. Black Panther
  2. All The Stars (with SZA)
  3. X (with 2 Chainz & Saudi)

4.The Ways (with Swae Lee)

  1. Opps
  2. I Am
  3. Paramedic!
  4. Bloody Waters
  5. King’s Dead
  6. Redemption Interlude
  7. Redemption
  8. Seasons
  9. Big Shot
  10. Pray for Me  

 

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