Just in time for Jesus’ birthday, Kanye West released his anticipated Jesus Is Born album on Christmas.
The gospel album dropped on streaming services Christmas afternoon, just two months after West’s Jesus Is King released, CNN reports. The album boasts a more traditional gospel style than Jesus Is King, and it’s sung completely by the Sunday Service Choir, the choir Kanye assembled earlier this year. Ye doesn’t even rap on the project.
The 19-track album features vocally-rich renditions of “Total Praise” by Richard Smallwood and “Balm in Gilead” by Karen Clark-Sheard, as well as a cover of “Ultralight Beam” from West’s 2016 album, The Life of Pablo. It’s all gospel, all praise, and all worship—all for baby Jesus.
But is it good? Is it as good as Kanye’s past projects?
That’s for you to determine—if you haven’t already canceled ‘Ye.
Jesus Is King dropped to mixed and mostly bad reviews; and critics have labeled Kanye’s Nebuchadnezzar and Mary operas abysmal, bad, and in-between. My sister, a vocal producer and Grammy-nominated songwriter, told me she walked out of Nebuchadnezzar.
Since I don’t review music, I won’t start now, but I know it’s really difficult to release great, dynamic projects back-to-back, and that’s what Kanye’s attempted to do with Jesus Is Born—in addition to debuting two operas and traveling on the weekends to bring his Sunday Service to the masses.
While the church girl in me will always gravitate toward vocally-rich remakes of classic gospel hits, the woke girl in me is still scratching her cornrows, wondering what happened to the artist who first dropped the “Jesus Walks” joint in 2004.
As always, it’s hard to predict exactly what Kanye will do next, but here’s a wild hunch: On Sunday, April 21, 2020, Kanye will release an Easter album titled Jesus Is Risen.