Kanye West's Jesus Is King released to tepid reviews, fan backlash

Kanye West's new record Jesus Is King has been released to mediocre reviews, but not from the man himself.

"I'm unquestionably, undoubtedly, the greatest human artist of all time," he told Kiwi-born Beats 1 presenter Zane Lowe in an interview to promote the album on Friday. "It's just not even a question anymore."

Fans and critics beg to differ, however. The early reactions to the brief 27-minute album aren't all that positive.

"West's delayed record feels more like a collection of skits than a studio album," said The Independent in a two-star review.

"Fans will no doubt be wondering whether all the hype and stress that preceded its unveiling was worth it." 

The Chicago Tribune also gave it two stars, saying the unexpected appearance of Kenny G's saxophone can't save a record from being a "pedestrian effort from an artist who was anything but for the first decade of his career".

USA Today said the only good song is 'God Is'.

"But [almost] everything on Jesus is King feels purely surface level, devoid of any of the soul-searching or introspection that faith often brings."

Cover of Jesus Is King.
Cover of Jesus Is King. Photo credit: GOOD/Def Jam

Music magazine NME was slightly more enthusiastic, saying while it "lacks the goofball sense of humour that always made Kanye West albums so much fun", it's "partly compensated for with warmth and hope for the future".

On site Rate Your Music, which lets fans rate their favourite artists' musical output, Jesus Is King was averaging a paltry 2.64 out of five after 3700 reviews - easily his lowest-ranked album.

"This is truly one of the biggest disappointments in music for a while for me," wrote one fan. "

"This is just bad," said another, who called West his favourite rapper of all-time. "It's not the religion. It's not the politics. It's the music, the lyrics, the execution... He just did something new: made a bad album. His first, and, God willing, his last."

In comparison, West's next-lowest scoring album on Rate Your Music - Watch the Throne - averages 3.14 out of five, and his best - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - 4.06.

Some liked it - one fan writing, "This is how hard i wanted Life of Pablo to slap."

Disappointed fans won't have to wait long however - he's said to be dropping another record at Christmas, Jesus Is Born.



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