Digitally issued only hours after its existence was announced, Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon is rapper Kid Cudi's fourth studio album, an abstract and ambitious effort that opens with the aptly titled, mostly instrumental, Tangerine Dream-like "Destination: Mother Moon." Then, the man who was "Mr. Solo Dolo" becomes a dour Bono on the arena-rocking, addiction-minded "Going to the Ceremony," followed by a journey into micro-indie-electro (the twerking, Kool Keith-ish "Satellite Flight") then a return to obsidian-dark, mostly instrumental space music ("Copernicus Landing"). The intoxicating chillout track "Balmain Jeans" might be the only Raphael Saadiq number worthy of a goth playlist, and while this list of spoilers finishes with two dips into left-field rap, one more space number, one "Original Score"-sized piece, and a closing moaner that sounds like Cudi became hip-hop's Jandek, Satellite Flight is the Cudi album that requires a cheat sheet, since stoner versions of Yeezus come with that one-two punch of avant and meandering. Still, it's not an unapproachable release as the Kid's music is rich, while his lyrics concerning doubt, distrust, and personal freedom come with that universal angst-appeal. Newcomers are likely to be dazzled by it all, while hardcore fans will appreciate how this unique artist keeps experimenting and approaching the unclassifiable, but stuck in the middle are the casual fans, wondering where all these albums deconstructing "Space Oddity" are going. Planet Earth is blue and there's nothing Kid Cudi can do on Satellite Flight, so think lift-off and orbit with no touchdown because this one is lost in space, for better and for worse.
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AllMusic Review by David Jeffries
feat: Raphael Saadiq