Cruel Summer

  • Record Label: Mercury
  • Release Date: Sep 18, 2012
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 96 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 96
  2. Negative: 7 out of 96
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  1. 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
  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)
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  3. 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.
  4. 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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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. The Source
    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]