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Sunday, June 4, 2023

Life + Arts

Album Review: ‘Dark Sky Paradise’ offers listeners plenty of surprises

Detroit native Big Sean reaches in various directions, offering many highs and lows in “Dark Sky Paradise.”


Big Seans’ s ‘Dark Sky Paradise’ | Courtesy of GOOD Music and Def Jam Recordings

Big Sean has grown vocally since his first album, “Finally Famous,” playing with his vocal range rather than sticking to his formerly quiet, monotone rapping.

“Dark Sky Paradise” plays with several tones, from fun and optimistic to gloomy and sarcastic. There is no distinct transition between the songs, meaning there are back-to-back tracks with vastly different sensations.

Every song is a wild card — which setting you will be thrown into next? It makes listening to the album all the way through fun, because there is no predictability to what comes next.

“All Your Fault” is an interesting track; the overall song is dark, but the sample dropped in and out of the chorus gives it an uplifting sensation. The chorus is heartwarming, the bridge is epic and the verses are eerie. It is the most distinctive song, but not the best the album has to offer.

“One Man Can Change The World” is a seamless call-and-response style song between John Legend, Kanye West and Big Sean. Legend and West are on the chorus, while Sean responds with each verse. Having no percussion throughout the song lends more meaning to Sean’s words. All three artists contribute to an inspirational, emotional song about achieving the best in life.

The collaborations on the album help the tracks, but not so much that the featured artist carries the song. Most of the collaborations, excluding West and Legend, are average at best.

Big Sean delivers, giving “Dark Sky Paradise” much-needed character. It is not the revolutionary album that will change the scope of hip-hop, but “Dark Sky Paradise” is entertaining and surprisingly good.

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