This album was unexpected. But as soon as the news of its existence materialized the hype rose exponentially. I liked both “Everybody Dies” and “False Prophets”, the tracks that lead the release of this album. But upon seeing the tracklist they were absent. Believe me it was good decision because the wouldn’t have been a fit anyway.
Anyhow for those who know Jermaine Lamarr Cole better known by his stage name J. Cole know that he is soft and somber (maybe not always that somber) person. So going into this projects and given the way his previous projects were constructed I had a bit of idea about what he may have to offer. I liked 2014’s “Forest Hills Drive” and I am sorry but I haven’t completed “Born Sinner” in its entirety yet.
The album released on Dec 9, that means I was in midst of my examinations. So I wasn’t able to listen to it the same day but I did listen to it the next day. Let me first tell you everything that this album does have. This album here is graced with sweetness, it is personal, it has some underappreciated writing at parts, some improved instances of story telling, a compact structure and very importantly it remains true to the concept. Generally an album with all these characteristics will go on to be included on the best album lists but this one won’t.
I confess that I fell asleep when I heard the album for the first time and then heard twice afterwards to be able to completely hear it. Yes, this album is boring. I expected a lot more involved production on this one. I really want Cole to be done with the corny stuff he seems to be so fond of. Well this one being a boring album is now a popular meme so much that a hotel used the album’s boringness as it’s advertisement. The production does little to grab your attention, the vocals are just lazy at parts and really bad at other eg: Ville Mentality. Let’s talk about “Folding Clothes” a little bit. Definitely the worst track on the album and truly forgettable attempt at showing how little things exhibit deep love. The song is corny as hell and I don’t think that I’ll ever fold clothes to parade my love towards my girlfriend, wife, grandma, sister, mother or anyone.
I like the title track, I like “She’s mine part 2“, “Neighbours” might be might favorite for the story, concept and the beat.
The album isn’t really bad but it isn’t really great either. I believe J. Cole can do much better. He is a good song writer, a more than capable rapper and a very talented producer. But this one fails to entertain. Fails to be as deep as it should have been and thus fails to have the impact it could have. This album doesn’t reach for an uncharted territory neither does Cole achieves any unprecedented accolade through this.
It’s a 6/10 album to me.
Have a great day everyone. And if you’ve already given this album a listen tell me how you feel.