Kendrick Lamar - 'Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers'

8/10

If there is any artist in the world that almost everyone agrees is pushing the progression of popular music right now, it is Kendrick Lamar. The rapper has been countlessly applauded for his brash and confrontational approach to social and political lyrics, becoming an almost unofficial commentator on the current state of the world today. But with his last studio album 'DAMN.' earning him a Pulitzer Prize, he has been isolating himself away from the limelight, readying his next move. Now he drops his fifth full-length 'Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers', a record that continues to build on his captivating direction.

Throughout his releases so far, he has always looked to place one foot in the commercial charts, and one in the more grounded underground movement. His records have looked to appease both sides of his fanbase; the ones looking for spiritual and intrinsic flow, and the others just looking to have a good time. But on 'Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers' he focuses himself more on the former, unveiling a broad and forward-thinking release that wouldn't sit too well in a club setlist. It feels like the true poet within him has come out to play and has taken over this new collection, offering up smooth and shimmering grooves that go down real easy.

It may not have the same brutal anger that he has been known to show in the past, but 'Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers' is a fresh and enticing continuation of his sound to date. Keeping a handle on the light and driven texture within each of these singles, he takes his time throughout this new release, slowing letting it build and ebb away when it needs to.

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