Cruel Summer - Various Artists
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 85 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 75 out of 85
  2. Negative: 6 out of 85

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  1. Sep 20, 2012
    10
    Severely mis-appreciated - that would be the perfect way to describe Cruel Summer. The reason why the album will have a low score is not because it is bad - in fact, it's a great album. However, most reviewers (professional or not) are judging this album based of "what they expected". This is wrong; sure, considering GOOD Music's roster, the album may have been much, much better, but youSeverely mis-appreciated - that would be the perfect way to describe Cruel Summer. The reason why the album will have a low score is not because it is bad - in fact, it's a great album. However, most reviewers (professional or not) are judging this album based of "what they expected". This is wrong; sure, considering GOOD Music's roster, the album may have been much, much better, but you have to be objective and take the album for what it is - a compilation showcasing GOOD's main artists. If you can do so, you will realize, that this is a great release. None of the other labels pay as much attention to detail as GOOD. If you listen to this album along with all the other label compilations out there, you will realize - GOOD is the best (mainstream) group out there, at the moment. Expand
  2. Sep 19, 2012
    5
    Pros
    . Some really interesting but simple production styles on most of these tracks like Clique, New God Flow & Mercy, Cold. I think the production is kind of the saving grace on this album especially when you have Kanye, Hit-Boy, and Hudson Mowake producing.
    . Pusha-T, Cyhi, and Kanye has some really nice bars along with some of the extra guests like Jay-Z, Ghostface Killah, and
    Pros
    . Some really interesting but simple production styles on most of these tracks like Clique, New God Flow & Mercy, Cold. I think the production is kind of the saving grace on this album especially when you have Kanye, Hit-Boy, and Hudson Mowake producing.
    . Pusha-T, Cyhi, and Kanye has some really nice bars along with some of the extra guests like Jay-Z, Ghostface Killah, and Raekwon.

    Cons
    . Cheesy tracks like To The World & The One
    . Bad Hooks
    . Very disjointed
    . Some lazy verses
    . Guests like Jay-Z and rappers from Wu-Tang overpower GOOD Music artists
    . Where is Mr. Hudson?
    . Not a GOOD example of what G.O.O.D music has to offer(next time only good music artists)
    Expand
  3. Sep 19, 2012
    10
    Not as good as a Kanye solo album but still an almost very good album! Best songs are Clique, Creepers, The One and To The World. Disappointed not to see Mr Hudson though!
  4. Sep 27, 2012
    9
    One of the greatest hip hop released of the year. Even though it only has 12 tracks the money was really worth it. The top songs were probably, Higher, New God Flow, The Morning, Clique & Mercy. Those tracks mad this album fantastic. I recommend buying this album or atleast giving this album a listen
  5. Sep 25, 2012
    10
    Damn im impressed a very high quality album although it could use more songs. I think a Deluxe Edition would have made Cruel Summer feel more complete. Enough said your getting nothing but the best with G.O.O.D. Music anything else like ym doesnt matter at all.
  6. Oct 1, 2012
    10
    This Is One Of My Favorite Albums....GET IT YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This Is The Type Of Cd Where You Can Listen To Every Song And Don't Wanna Skip Because There All GREAT
  7. Oct 4, 2012
    10
    This is the best compilation of 2012. Idk what the critics say, but its a perfect album.

    Pros:Production, features.
    Cons: ? (none)
  8. Feb 16, 2013
    6
    Cruel Summer is not a Kanye album. Don't treat it like it is. It's not suppose to be consistent, it's not suppose to have a theme. It is merely a compilation for each of the G.O.O.D. Music artist (sans Q-Tip or Mos Def) to perform. The whole point of this album is to cherry-pick the songs you like and go and with that said, I liked a bit over half this album. As a full, cohesive album thatCruel Summer is not a Kanye album. Don't treat it like it is. It's not suppose to be consistent, it's not suppose to have a theme. It is merely a compilation for each of the G.O.O.D. Music artist (sans Q-Tip or Mos Def) to perform. The whole point of this album is to cherry-pick the songs you like and go and with that said, I liked a bit over half this album. As a full, cohesive album that would be an issue but for a compilation that's a pretty good thing. Songs like Mercy, Cold, Clique I Don't Like (Remix) are some ill songs. Even though I despise Chief Keef, that remix is a banger. Songs like New God Flow and The Mourning are great songs with even better lyrics. The One (in spite of cheesy chorus) is pretty good, and I won't lie I kinda dig Sin City. The song To The World has a crazy ass R. Kelly singing about how "the world is his couch, I'm Rick James toniiight." Ghostface Killah pretty much slaughtered his verse on New God Flow. And I can't lie, I dug Big Sean's verse on Clique. With that said it still has flaws Higher is boring as hell and Ma$e is awful, I did not like Kid Cudi's singing on Creepers and some of CyHi's verses on this album were cornier than Big Sean's verses. Plus what the is up with Common's measly one 8-bar verse. Really?!! Anyways as far as compilations go, this is pretty good. But make sure you buy the digital version because you're going to be skipping a lot of songs. Expand
  9. Dec 10, 2012
    7
    If we consider tracks like "Mercy" or "Cold", we can say that Cruel Summer is one of the best Hip-Hop albums in recent years, but after listening the other songs, you realize that this "Compilation" does not reach even the slightest previous work of the artists who compose it. For too many of these collaborations, Cruel Summer looks more like a party failed.
  10. Oct 5, 2012
    8
    Cruel Summer COULD HAVE easily been a 10/10 album, just by looking at the roster. Unfortunately, the album has only 12 songs, and 4 of them aren't even good. At first, this would make most people hate the album just because the album isn't "what it could have been", but if you look at the album with the perspective of "what it actually is", you'll see that it's still a pretty good album.Cruel Summer COULD HAVE easily been a 10/10 album, just by looking at the roster. Unfortunately, the album has only 12 songs, and 4 of them aren't even good. At first, this would make most people hate the album just because the album isn't "what it could have been", but if you look at the album with the perspective of "what it actually is", you'll see that it's still a pretty good album. My favorite track is "To The World", it's a fantastic intro. The only songs i don't like are "I Don't Like", "Cold", "The Morning" and "Higher" Collapse
  11. Sep 19, 2012
    6
    It's actually pretty good, but has many, many flaws. Luckily, the individual tracks have enough about them to make this way more successful than I expected and more successful than MMG's compilation album earlier this year. "Clique", "New God Flow", "Cold", "The Morning", "Sin City", "The One" and "I Don't Like", are the tracks most worthy of being checked out.
  12. Jan 3, 2013
    7
    You can have a really good time with songs like Clique, Mercy, New God Flow or Cold and all the rest is also worth listening to. The beats are great and you get a lot of variation within hip-hop music with so many different artists. And the best verses actually don't come by 'Ye himself, but rather by Big Sean and Pusha T! It's neither as glorious as Watch The Throne nor as My BeautifulYou can have a really good time with songs like Clique, Mercy, New God Flow or Cold and all the rest is also worth listening to. The beats are great and you get a lot of variation within hip-hop music with so many different artists. And the best verses actually don't come by 'Ye himself, but rather by Big Sean and Pusha T! It's neither as glorious as Watch The Throne nor as My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantsay but it's a favorable collab album by a lot of talented guys (and girls!). Expand
  13. Sep 21, 2012
    3
    Was disappointed with the overall sound. Too much singing, less rapping. They tried to do way too much with the production. Where's Yasiin Bey, Q-Tip, Consequence, Mr. Hudson? Why is 2 Chainz on three songs?
  14. Mar 9, 2013
    7
    disappointed. the best songs on the album were released months before the albums release. listen to this album a few times then make room on your mp3 player
  15. Feb 4, 2014
    7
    As a whole, Cruel Summer isn't that great of an album. The production is, of course, exemplary, and Kanye does a great job of letting all of GOOD music to showcase their talents. Also, the tracks where Kanye raps extensively are good enough for a solo album. Despite these strengths most of this album is surprisingly mediocre, considering the personnel.

    Best track: "Cold" Other tracks
    As a whole, Cruel Summer isn't that great of an album. The production is, of course, exemplary, and Kanye does a great job of letting all of GOOD music to showcase their talents. Also, the tracks where Kanye raps extensively are good enough for a solo album. Despite these strengths most of this album is surprisingly mediocre, considering the personnel.

    Best track: "Cold"
    Other tracks that stand out: "Clique", "Mercy", and "New God Flow"
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  16. Jun 11, 2013
    6
    My expectations for Cruel Summer were incredibly high, and I can say it did not meet these expectations. Cruel Summer is a disappointment, especially after the success of Good Fridays, (more on that later).

    The first song "To the World", I really liked. R. Kelly worked on this song and Kanye had a good enough verse. The thing that I enjoyed most about this song is that the production
    My expectations for Cruel Summer were incredibly high, and I can say it did not meet these expectations. Cruel Summer is a disappointment, especially after the success of Good Fridays, (more on that later).

    The first song "To the World", I really liked. R. Kelly worked on this song and Kanye had a good enough verse. The thing that I enjoyed most about this song is that the production sounded like it came from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (I love that album). This song is followed by "Clique" which has a good hook from Big Sean, but his verse... eh. Once he started rapping faster it sounded better, but he still got destroyed by Jay-Z and Kanye. You then have the big hit "Mercy". This song has great production and good changes throughout the song. Big Sean's verse once again didn't blow me away. Pusha T had the best verse and I loved his line about "The Exorcist". Kanye West did good enough, and 2 Chainz was a great way to finish of the song. "New God Flow" doesn't focus on production, but the beat is still good. This song is all about the lyricism. Pusha T's first verse was great, but I could have done without his second verse. Kanye and Ghostface both destroy their verses.

    I got to touch on my main problem with Cruel Summer. There are too many of some artists and not enough of other ones. I'm not a Kid Cudi fan, but him just being on one song is ridiculous. I know Kanye is on a lot of songs, but I would actually like him to be on more songs, because the songs that he is featured on are exponentially greater than the remaining songs. Pusha T is on too many songs. I liked his verses on pretty much everything, but the song "Higher" should be removed. It is painfully bad. If they wanted another Pusha T song in place of "Higher", they should have put "Exodus 23:1" in its place. Mos Def not being on Cruel Summer is ridiculous. There is also too much of Big Sean on this album. His best verse was easily on "The One".

    The Good Friday weekly music series was fantastic, and a compilation of those songs is probably better than this album. Cruel Summer is just a huge disappointment and I expected better from Kanye and company.
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  17. Dec 23, 2013
    8
    This is a nice compilation album with different styles from the rapping in songs like 'Mercy' and 'Clique' to the singing in 'Bliss'. There was something missing though but overall a very good album.
  18. Dec 8, 2014
    7
    Let me start by saying this: this is nowhere near the strongest work Mr. West has. That being said, even if this is the worst Ye has, it's still pretty damned good. With the man himself at the helm, there are parts in this compilation where you really feel like you're in the presence of fantastic music, and other times when you're not sure what you're listening to. It's not that thisLet me start by saying this: this is nowhere near the strongest work Mr. West has. That being said, even if this is the worst Ye has, it's still pretty damned good. With the man himself at the helm, there are parts in this compilation where you really feel like you're in the presence of fantastic music, and other times when you're not sure what you're listening to. It's not that this project lacks attention from the leader, but more from his supporting cast. In a metaphor, it's as if Ye gave his crew a gorgeous dinner plate for supper (production), and they just threw something edible on it (lyrics). It works, just not well all the time. Essentially, the work is missing a cohesive direction, a unity that we all thought should be there for such a highly-touted label. The job is well done by most of the team, but the hiccups really show with it being just 12 tracks. It's solid, I just wish each crew member pulled the weight that Kanye did, because then we'd be looking at one of the finest compilations in a long time. Standout tracks for me were the introduction anthem, "To the World," the aptly named "Cold," and the beautifully produced "The One." Expand
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Dec 21, 2012
    70
    For all its flaws and excesses, Cruel Summer is an order of magnitude above the dreck of 808s and Heartbreak (2008), and if it doesn't outshine any of Ye's other solo works, I'd argue that it's a deeper and bolder album than last year's Watch the Throne.
  2. Oct 25, 2012
    80
    Cruel Summer is a mistitled fireworks show from Kanye West and his G.O.O.D. Music label/roster/empire, one that comes off as mixtape-minded follow-up to his flossy Jay-Z team-up Watch the Throne.
  3. Oct 25, 2012
    80
    From start to finish, this album is a great look at what G.O.O.D. Music has to offer. [No. 225, p.95]