‘JESUS IS KING’ shows shift in tone

Ethan Weihl
Video Editor

Photo from http://www.kanyewest.com

Kanye West’s new album, “JESUS IS KING,” presents a shift in his music, as well as his state of being. The album is significantly different from his last solo album, “ye.”

The album is primarily gospel-inspired, with hints of West’s unique style sprinkled throughout. The production, while including more gospel elements, is very typical of West.

The album opens with “Every Hour,” which consists solely of the Sunday Service Choir, accompanied by piano. The Sunday Service Choir, led by Jason White, is West’s personal choir. It features on a number of tracks on the album. “Every Hour” provides a catchy intro, but no transition into the next track, “Selah.”

“Selah” is the first track in which West raps. This song addresses his fans and the drama surrounding “Yandhi,” the album that was rumored to be West’s next until the release of “JESUS IS KING.” After “Selah” is “Follow God.” The track is only 1:45, but it is one of the best on the album. The sample, “Can You Lose by Following God” by Whole Truth, continues the trend of amazing production by West.

“Closed On Sunday” is one of the weirdest songs on the album. The track is about how everyone should “put the ‘Gram away” and worship. The song also ties in references to Chick-Fil-A, which is closed on Sundays.

The next three songs, “On God,”Everything We Need” and “Water” are all more of the same, with stand out features from Ty Dolla $ign on “Everything We Need” and Ant Clemons on “Water.” “God Is” is the perfect combination of phenomenal production and vocals. West sings for the entirety of the song about what God is to him. That song is followed by “Hands On,” which is similar to the three songs prior to “God Is.”

Use This Gospel” is the best song on the album. The song mixes a distorted choir in the background with piano. Kanye opens the track with the chorus, followed by features from Pusha T and No Malice of Clipse. This is Clipse’s first song together in 10 years. The song also includes a feature from Kenny G. The album ends with a brief 49 second song called “Jesus is Lord.” The track has a great horn part in the background but does not add much to the album.

“JESUS IS KING” is a significant departure from previous subject matters that West has talked about. While West has dabbled in gospel before with “Ultralight Beam,” off of 2016’s The Life of Pablo, this is his first entirely Jesus-centric album. West has had a public struggle with bipolar disorder in recent years. West has also made a number of controversial statements revolving around President Donald Trump. 

As for future plans, West has announced an opera entitled “Nebuchadnezzar,” which tells the story of the biblical king Nebuchadnezzar. 

“Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon, and he looked at his entire kingdom and said, ‘I did this.’ And God said, ‘Oh, for real? You did this?’ Sounds kind of similar, right? I’m standing on the tip of the mountain talking about Yeezus. Saying, ‘I did this!’ That I’m a god! And I could talk to Jesus at the end of my show. I had a guy dressed up as Jesus, at the end of my show,” West told Zane Lowe in an interview.

In addition, the Sunday Service Choir is releasing a Christmas album, “Jesus is Born,” on Dec. 25. West and Dr. Dre have also announced plans to collaborate on “Jesus is King II.”

“JESUS IS KING” is 27 minutes long and is West’s first with no explicit lyrics. The album is available for streaming on all platforms and costs $9.99 on iTunes.


Ethan Weihl – Video Editor

This is senior Ethan Weihl’s second year on ECHO Staff. He previously served as News Editor.  He has not decided on college yet, but he wants to major in Political Science, History and/or Journalism.


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