Cruel Summer - Various Artists
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 84 Ratings

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  • Summary: This studio compilation album features artists from the G.O.O.D. Music label and guest appearances from others including: Kanye West, Jay Z, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Push T, R. Kelly, Common, Kid Cudi, 2 Chainz, Big Sean, DJ Khaled, Ma$e, and Teyana Taylor.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. 91
    Cruel Summer is a posse album struck in West's image, full of the same idiosyncratic bombast that has fueled his biggest hits. He's a benevolent host, letting each squad member show off his skills.
  2. Oct 25, 2012
    From start to finish, this album is a great look at what G.O.O.D. Music has to offer. [No. 225, p.95]
  3. Cruel Summer might be the worst thing in Kanye West's discography thus far, but it's a success as mainstream rap cabal compilation albums go.
  4. 60
    For every fiery, self-serious verse here, you'll find at least one maladroit dud.
  5. Sep 28, 2012
    Cruel Summer is certainly an accomplished CD, and perhaps by sheer numbers can claim to be as massive as it assumes, but it's mostly a disc that don't have much unifying character other than "yea, this sounds as big as G.O.O.D. Music's ego."
  6. Sep 20, 2012
    Consider Cruel Summer the first real creative vacation West has taken in his illustrious career – an occasionally exhilarating, ultimately underwhelming showcase for Kanye and his friends.
  7. Sep 17, 2012
    At least five of these songs [out of twelve] should've remained on the cutting room floor.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 18
  2. Negative: 1 out of 18
  1. Sep 20, 2012
    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 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. Collapse
  2. Sep 25, 2012
    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. Expand
  3. Oct 4, 2012
    This is the best compilation of 2012. Idk what the critics say, but its a perfect album.

    Pros:Production, features.
    Cons: ? (none)
  4. Jan 3, 2013
    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 Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantsay but it's a favorable collab album by a lot of talented guys (and girls!). Expand
  5. Feb 4, 2014
    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"
  6. Feb 16, 2013
    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 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
  7. Sep 21, 2012
    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? Expand

See all 18 User Reviews