Album Title: WZRD
Label: Wicked Awesome, HeadBanga Muzik, Universal Republic
Producer: Dot Da Genius, KiD CuDi
When an established artist decides to explore other genres, there will always be a level of uncertainty. Such was the case with KiD CuDi when he announced he would be pairing up with friend and producer Dot Da Genius for an experimental rock album. The duo, known as WZRD, recently released their self-titled debut.
The first cut off “WZRD” is a promising instrumental, filling the listener with hope that the rest of the album will follow suit. While there are high points, such as the lead single “Teleport 2 Me, Jamie” featuring Desire, in which Cudi pens his first love song of sorts, and the frenetic “High Off Life”, an obvious nod to overcoming drug dependency, the entirety of “WZRD” seems to miss its mark.
Lyrically, Cudi does a fair job of opening up, as he acknowledges his shortcomings. This is clear on “The Dream Time Machine”, which loyal fans will find to be closest to the Cudder they’ve come to know and love, as he sings, “Times have changed. I’ve changed, a good different” over a perfectly crafted Dot backdrop sprinkled with just the right amount of guitar. However, on an acoustic track later on in the album called “Efflictim”, Cudi comes off as contrived, asking, “What would you do if you found out from your friends that I was dead?” He wails out in the chorus a line too simple for a hook master of his caliber, “All we got is love baby and the time to make it right, if I’m alive that is”
Sonically, Dot Da Genius provides a spacey stability, allowing his musical counterpart the opportunity to explore his rock curiosity. Dot is also given ample room to breath, showcasing his talents through a number of musical interludes within the tracks. The production on “WZRD” is one of the albums strong points. This aspect can be undoubtedly traced to Dot Da Genius’ masterful ear melding with Cudi’s meticulous attention to detail. Still, tracks like “Brake”, “Dr. Pill” and the out of place Nirvana cover of “Where Did You Sleep Last Night?” hold the album back from developing fully.