Donda Album Review


Asa Thomas

Writer, Asa Thomas poses with Kanye West’s new album, Donda.

Kanye West released his thirteenth studio album, DONDA, on August 29th, 2021. Kanye West announced he was working on a new project in November 2019: titled Jesus is King II. He worked on it discreetly until July of 2020, when he announced the release of his album, renamed DONDA. News dwindled until July 2021, when West went hot and cold with the public teasing the release, only to delay it. DONDA finally arrived on August 29th, 2021; fans were excited. Claiming that DONDA was the album of the year, could the tracklist live up to the hype?

DONDA has twenty-seven tracks to boast with a staggering hour and forty-eight minutes of track time. Feeling all over the place, West puts a lot of effort into some tracks and others. “Off the Grid” has put a lot of time into its production with well-mixed instrumentals and great features; “Jail,” however, has a guitar riff standing alone on the track with a short feature from Jay-Z. Despite this inconsistency in production, there is a track for everyone on this album. There are soulful tracks for those looking for a more enjoyable experience. Some songs take a grittier, more aggressive approach. It’s hard to come out of this album not liking at least one song.

There are mostly positive reviews for this album. They range from the album of the year to a rushed, bloated album. Chase Myers, a senior at Lafayette, said that “the album is a beautiful mess, an eclectic run of tracks that, while not always great, manages to give off the high feelings of his earlier works.” An apt description of the album, DONDA is enjoyable despite the flaws. The barebones beat of tracks works well in its favor. It lets you get in the rhythm and have some simple fun. “Donda Chant” is the track under the most scrutiny, but the song is a eulogy to his mother. It represented her final heartbeats before she passed away. A track that is a definite low point is “Remote Control”. It is an odd track, with a poor feature and a terrible sample from a cartoon. It is extremely out of place and ruins the entire song. Other than those tracks and some forgettable songs, the album is worth at least one listen.