Big Sean: Dark Sky Paradise

 
Dark Sky Paradise Cover
Dark Sky Paradise Cover
Dark Sky Paradise Cover

 
Overview
 

Genre:
 
Artist:
 
Label: ,
 
Length: 49:57
 
Release Date: 24th February 2015
 
Producer: Sean Anderson, Kanye West, Allen Ritter, Amaire Johnson, Boi-1da, Da Internz, DJ Dahi, DJ Mano, DJ Mustard, Jay John Henry, KeY Wane, L&F, Metro Boomin, Mike Free, Mike WiLL Made It, Nashiem Myrick, Noah Goldstein, OG Webbie, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Rob Got Beats, T-Minus, VinylZ
 
Track Listing: 1. Dark Sky (Skyscrapers) 2. Blessings feat. Drake 3. All Your Fault feat. Kanye West 4. I Don’t Fuck With You feat. E-40 5. Play No Games feat. Chris Brown and Ty Dolla $ign 6. Paradise 7. Win Some, Lose Some 8. Stay Down 9. I Know feat. Jhene Aiko 10. Deep feat Lil Wayne 11. One Man Can Change The World feat Kanye West and John Legend 12. Outro Deluxe Edition: 13. Deserve It feat. PARTYNEXTDOOR 14. Research feat. Ariana Grande 15. Platinum and Wood
 
Singles: I Don’t Fuck With You, Paradise, Blessings
 
Originality
5.0


 
Producing
7.0


 
Lyrics
5.0


 
Musical Quality
7.0


 
Total Score
6.0


User Rating
4 total ratings

 

Positives


There are some infectious beats and fantastic rhythms on this album, as you would expect considering the pedigree of the producers and artists involved.

Negatives


None of this album feels especially original; it’s clear that Big Sean has gone down the Kanye West route in terms of feel and lyrics. The problem is it’s all been done a hundred times before. The lyrics also get a little dull, repetitive, and contemptuous of women, which is pretty off-putting.


0
Posted April 4, 2015 by

 
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Full Review

The album starts out well, with strong beats and infectious rhythms. Opening track “Dark Sky (Skyscrapers)” is immediately engaging and raises the anticipation for the rest of the album. Third single “Blessings” is up next, with an orchestral atmosphere and some lovely interplay between Big Sean and featured star Drake. “All Your Fault”, while ostensibly a love song, isn’t particularly loving when it comes to women. It is also pretty clearly a Kanye West song, which makes sense since he is the featured star on the track, but this is supposed to be a Big Sean album.

“I Don’t Fuck With You” is up next. The album’s debut single is filled with attitude, and has some great electro-inspired synth running behind upbeat beats. The lyrics are nothing more than a rant directed at an ex-lover, but otherwise the song is entertaining and certainly danceable. “Play No Games” features Chris Brown and Ty Dolla $ign. It drifts along with an amicable enough beat, but doesn’t offer anything particularly exciting. “Paradise”, the second single from the album, starts out well and evokes the vibe of old-school hip hop, particularly Snoop Dogg.

Moving into the second half of the album, “Win Some, Lose Some” is a sad tale of friendship lost due to the pressures of fame and money. It also features some of the smartest wordplay on the album so far, with an unobtrusive beat that keeps the momentum going. “Stay Down” is a tribute to friendship, lifting the mood again, and the melodic synth and insistent drumbeats keep things exciting as the song’s tempo shifts up and down. Big Sean really showcases his rapping skills on this track, and it’s hypnotic. “I Know”, featuring Jhene Aiko, starts out with movie soundtrack-style buildup and maintains a dark, brooding vibe throughout complete with melodic rapping and the perfect amount of vocal backing.

“Deep”, featuring Lil Wayne, continues down a dark, orchestral path. Big Sean contemplates the pressures of fame and existential angst over a pulsing rhythm and ever-swelling backing track. “One Man Can Change the World” is an abrupt change, opening with gentle piano and John Legend’s warm, enticing vocals. It makes for a sweet, poppy interlude in an overall angsty album. “Outro”, the album’s closing track, features samples from Darondo and A Tribe Called Quest, and bounces happily along with some skilful wordplay. It’s unfortunate that it returns to complaining about women again, really, as this song had the potential to make a happy ending for the album.

If you get the Deluxe version of “Dark Sky Paradise”, you will be treated to three bonus tracks: “Deserve It” feat. PARTYNEXTDOOR, “Research” feat. Ariana Grande, and “Platinum and Wood”. “Deserve It” doesn’t offer much to the album in terms of lyrics or beats, ploughing along with a reasonable rhythm. “Research” is far more poppy than the rest of the album, and is far more jovial and upbeat than the other tracks. It’s an entertaining musing on insecurity in relationships that you can tap your foot to. Finally, “Platinum and Wood” brings back strong beats and hypnotic synth to finish the album on a relaxed, enjoyable note.

Overall, this album is entertaining, if a little patchy in terms of quality. It is a shame that such a clearly clever lyricist can’t stop returning to tired themes about how women are “bitches”, “hos”, and money-grabbers, but the beats are good and the songs convey real, raw, feeling which is always engaging. “Dark Sky Paradise” is worth a listen for hip hop fans, but may not be the best introduction to Big Sean’s considerable musical talent.

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Mary D

 
Mary D


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