Metascore
55

Mixed or average reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 23
  2. Negative: 3 out of 23
  1. Oct 29, 2019
    80
    Jesus Is King provides an undeniably moving and distinct new chapter in the book of Kanye. Whether you choose to skip it or place it high on your mantel, its cultural significance is only bound to grow.
  2. Oct 26, 2019
    80
    Packed with gospel choirs, church organs and soulful ululations condensed into a typically bravura tableaux of obscure samples, warped synths and spooky slabs of vocoder harmonies, Jesus Is King sounds as scintillating as anything in West’s considerable canon.
  3. 80
    At just 11 tracks and 27 minutes long, it’s concise by West’s standards – the days of sprawling masterworks such as ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ and ‘The Life Of Pablo’ are perhaps behind him – but there’s density and focus throughout.
  4. Oct 29, 2019
    72
    Yes, the bassline on “Water” is one of the best I’ve heard in a long time, but a moment like this feels like a consolation, not a highlight. Kanye albums used to stretch our perspectives and imaginations. Now they illuminate the contours of his increasingly shrunken world.
  5. Oct 31, 2019
    70
    Despite the occasional lyrical misstep, Jesus Is King is a wonder of production, housing some of West's most focused and inspired work since 2013's Yeezus.
  6. Oct 29, 2019
    70
    The concept pays some dividends, with production that frequently finds a pleasant hybrid between gospel and contemporary production and subject matter that surprisingly doesn’t outstay its welcome. The big problem is Kanye’s lyrics, which have lost a lot of the charm they had in the early years without improving in technique, and at various points the tracks have a big hole where a genuinely powerful verse should be. Nonetheless, Jesus Is King is certainly an improvement on Ye, and a purposeful if novel release.
  7. Oct 29, 2019
    70
    A very listenable experience, as no tracks outstay their welcome.
  8. Oct 28, 2019
    70
    A more engaged and vivid album than “Ye,” from last year, though nowhere as robust as “The Life of Pablo” from 2016, it is bare-bones and curiously effective, emotionally forceful and structurally scant.
  9. Oct 29, 2019
    68
    This album should have and could have been as epic as it seems Kanye’s dive into his faith has been. All in all, the project is a decent affair that falls short of its potential.
  10. Oct 30, 2019
    60
    There are flashes of genius throughout, moments that insinuate where Kanye could go next with his music. In a sense, the album’s modest pleasures play to its (intended) message, which is supposed to be one of human fallibility and the prospect of improving oneself. But Kanye is eventually going to have to confront the serious limitations that his faith is putting on the range of his art’s expression.
  11. Oct 28, 2019
    60
    It could have been much better. Kanye's foray into gospel should have been a heavenly experience, but it's half-baked, incoherent and ultimately falls short of godly.
  12. Nov 12, 2019
    50
    As with every Kanye album, there’s some magnificent production on a majority of “Jesus Is King” courtesy of Pi’erre Bourne, Timbaland and Boogz, among others. ... Kanye just seems like he’s in his own world; disregarding what’s going on around him. Other times, Ye’s writing delves into eyerolling contradictions and ego-driven intentions.
  13. Nov 12, 2019
    50
    The only saving grace, pun possibly intended, is God Is, where West's voice genuinely cracks as he calls the Lord over a soulful sample. As you might imagine, the production overall is expectedly top-notch. But that's the slight upside to an otherwise tepid attempt at finding commonality with his devout followers—except that we never wanted West to come across as ordinary as the rest of us.
  14. Oct 28, 2019
    50
    The plaintive, direct singing mode is West’s best delivery vehicle across the album. The rapping is uniformly lackluster when not delivered by one of the brothers Thornton in their return as legendary rap duo Clipse.
  15. Oct 25, 2019
    50
    The gospel-singer moments (the stirring intro to “God Is”) and the verses by the Clips’ Pusha T and No Malice on “Use This Gospel” provide most of the musical sparks, with West allowing message to trump musicality. ... Otherwise, this sounds like a walk-through to West’s next destination, a tentative step that feels neither accomplished nor particularly memorable.
  16. 40
    Like his recently unpredictable behavior, it departs from what we’ve come to expect of him: gut-born artistry which connects on a human level. With this LP, he comes off concerned with fitting into an ideological mold, leaving no room for honest feelings and guided prose.
  17. 40
    People will say it's better than its predecessor, but at least that album had the good sense to be as gross as it was unlistenable. JESUS IS KING isn’t even as hilariously shit or infuriatingly offensive as Ye – it's one great tune and a bunch of other ideas, and it isn’t entertaining in the slightest.
  18. Oct 27, 2019
    40
    On the whole, however, the album is a lyrical mess, alternately alienating and bland.
  19. Oct 26, 2019
    40
    With only three songs stretching beyond the three-minute mark, the album is mostly made up of short sketches. Some are perfectly fine little ditties, but without more full-bodied tracks to act as support, Jesus Is King is a suite that constantly feels like it will blow away in the breeze. Confronted with the task of creating songs about religion, West delivers a set that lyrically is as thin as Bible paper.
  20. 40
    It’s no surprise, but still no less disappointing, that with all of West’s last-minute meddling of the album’s mixes the record lacks cohesion. Jesus is King feels more like a collection of well-produced skits than a full studio album, and fans will no doubt be wondering whether all the hype and stress that preceded its unveiling was worth it.
  21. Oct 28, 2019
    27
    There’s little to defend from a musical or lyrical perspective here: This is easily Kanye’s worst album to date, an impressive feat following last year’s ye.
  22. Oct 29, 2019
    20
    There is no insight into what brought him here, or how he feels in this place on a spiritual or even human level. Instead, it offers a shallow rush of, essentially, “WHOO GOD!” complete with an admittedly fantastic choir, but little else.
  23. 0
    Jesus Is King is impersonal, repetitive, boring, and somehow too long at just 27 minutes. Some albums grow deeper with subsequent listens; Jesus Is King shrinks.
User Score
5.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 958 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Oct 25, 2019
    10
    Simply amazing, the wait was really worth it, just no words to how amazing this album is. The production is classic Kanye, simply amazing.Simply amazing, the wait was really worth it, just no words to how amazing this album is. The production is classic Kanye, simply amazing. Kanye has been reborn.
    (Ignore the bad reviews, they are just haters.)
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 25, 2019
    7
    Solid record but definitely doesn't compare to Kanye's past projects. Highlights include "Follow God" "On God" and "Closed on Sundays"Solid record but definitely doesn't compare to Kanye's past projects. Highlights include "Follow God" "On God" and "Closed on Sundays" excusing the horrendous Chik-Fil-A line. Listening goes by quite fast considering its only 27 minutes and left me a bit underwhelmed. Definitely a good project but a weak one for Kanye standards. Full Review »
  3. Oct 26, 2019
    10
    Haven't listened to it yet, but neither have 80% of the negative reviews have either.