Music Review: Kanye West’s spiritual album Donda proves he is still at the top of his game


Christian Williams

This is Kanye West at the Donda listening party at the Mercedes stadium in Atlanta. The listening party was also streamed on Apple Music, which is where I attended.

by Christian Williams, Reporter

Donda is rapper Kanye West’s newest album which he has been teasing on social media ever since mid 2020. The album is named after his mother who passed away, and her death greatly affected him and his music. The theme is very gospel-like and he has centered most of his songs around Christianity with song titles such as “God breathed,” “Jesus Lord,”and “No Child Left Behind.”

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The entire album is 1 hour and 48 minutes long with 27 songs, and there are some good and bad ones and some I would even say are amazing.

Collaborators  included are, The Weekend, Don Toliver, Lil Baby, Playboi Carti, plus many more. The features add a lot to the album, and I might even say that they carry the album at certain points.

 Kanye does have some good verses, but it feels like they are a little underwhelming compared to the featured musicians.  Kanye’s part is not as impactful as the others.

My favorite songs on the album are, “Off the Grid” and “Moon.” “Off the Grid” is my favorite because of how everyone on the song played their part beautifully, especially Fivio Foreign who arguably delivered his best verse ever and showed everyone how much potential he truly has. Kanye did great on this song as well, flowing on a drill beat effortlessly it felt as if he was gliding on it. Carti had the weakest verse on the song, but it was still acceptable and did not ruin the song in any way.

“Moon” is another favorite because Don Toliver’s vocals with the guitar can only be explained as heavenly. Then when Kid Cudi, Kanye, and Don Toliver all sing together at the same time there was no other experience like it on the album that could make you feel the same way. Definitely  one of the best tracks.

Overall, though, the songs on the album are good, but here and there it feels as if there is a “filler” song where it doesn’t really match the vibe or it seems like it is out of place. For example, the song “Tell The Vision” does not need to be included.

 Donda sold 327k units in the first week alone. A lot of these songs may not seem as though they are the best right now but, in my opinion, I think that they will become very good over time and will age very well.

From the listening parties that he hosted on Apple Music (now re-posted on YouTube), listeners could see progress from these songs and see the process of how they were being made and how they were getting more and more polished. 

The production on this album is top tier as expected from a Kanye West album. The beat selection is very up to par and all the artists sounded great on them. The fact that Kanye made most of his beats very gospel and angelic is a good and interesting decision as it made it an enjoyable experience to listen to.