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  • WZRD "WZRD" Review — 5 out of 5 stars

    Mon, 05 Mar 2012 07:44:41

    WZRD "WZRD" Review — 5 out of 5 stars - Exclusive review by ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino...

    Nirvana Photos

    • Nirvana - A police officer stands guard on the back porch of Kurt Cobain's garage where Cobain's body was found early 08 April 1994 in Seattle, WA, after an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. Cobain, 27, was the lead singer of the Seattle-based grunge rock group Nirvana.
    • Nirvana - NEW YORK - JUNE 22:  A bass guitar once played by Kurt Cobain of Nirvana up for auction at the Christie's Pop Culture auction on June 22, 2009 in New York City.

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    "Follow your heart," urges Kid Cudi on "Love Hard" from his collaborative album with Dot Da Genius, WZRD.

    That's exactly what Cudi and his partner-in-crime did for WZRD, and the results remain astounding. Cudi crafted the most daring record of his career to date, and that's the most magnificent thing about it. There are moments of darkness. There are moments of light. There are moments of triumph. In short, WZRD is one of the best albums of 2012 and a landmark for Cudi.

    Throwing caution to the wind, Cudi and Dot Da Genius took their passion for Nirvana, The Pixies, and Pink Floyd and filtered it through their otherworldly lens, architecting a gorgeously cinematic collection of rock unlike anything you've heard. Opening track "The Arrival" evokes the sound of a spaceship landing as the towering production engulfs the listener, especially on headphones. It's ominous, foreboding, and inviting all at once with its calculated beats and Nine Inch Nails-style hum.

    "High Off Life" kicks off with a heavy distorted riff and handclaps as Cudi dishes on how happy he is to be living and creating. "Dream Time Machine" transfixes with tense energy emanating from the flourishes of guitar and keyboard punctuating each moment. There's a punk intensity at the start of "Love Hard" before the song steamrolls into an arena-ready chorus encouraging not to "love soft" but to go all out always and "love hard". "Teleport 2 Me, Jamie" is a love transmission from another galaxy that's as poetic as it is powerful.

    Airy acoustic guitar strumming kicks off the standout track, "Efflictum". Cudi asks, "How would you feel if you heard the news that I was dead?" and "Would you cycle through your mind and think of all the things you should've said or could've did differently if I was dead?"

    It's a haunting question that he flips around into a positive illuminating a "carpe diem" mentality that's strangely invigorating. Cudi's power courses through that masterful wordplay. Ultimately, it's Cudi's power with a pen that's always separated him. He's not afraid to be honest but he's never overbearing with it. The blood he spills on every song is real, and it's impossible not to feel.

    These two men followed their hearts and made a masterpiece. Get on the spaceship with WZRD…

    Rick Florino

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    Tags: Dot Da Genius, Nirvana, Pixies, Pink Floyd, Kid Cudi, Nine Inch Nails

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