The announcement of Man on the Moon: III, which is set to be released in 2015, sent a shockwave amongst the Kid Cudi faithful. Coming off of a strong effort in “Indicud,” Cudi’s most eclectic album to date, the buzz was considerable. Fans were sent into a further frenzy when Cudi announced an EP would be released to hold fans over in 2014. This EP grew and expanded until it became “Kid Cudi Presents Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon.”
The album begins much like “Indicud” with “Destination: Mother Moon,” the first of a surprising four instrumental tracks. In this right, the song picks up right where “Indicud” left off while splicing in memories of the man on the moon era. These tracks serve as a reminder that Kid Cudi isn’t a one-trick pony. Flexing his production abilities throughout the entire album, Cudi takes another big step in this facet of his work.
The next two songs feature production from WZRD, who is composed of Kid Cudi himself and Dot Da Genius, a frequent Cudi collaborator. The pair follows the blueprint set forth by WZRD’s self-titled 2012 release, heavy guitar rifts and short concise choruses. The effect of these songs truly depends on the listener’s reception of the WZRD album, which varied across the board.
The album’s pace is almost thrown for a loop by the second instrumental track, which seems to end before it takes listeners anywhere. The album is redeemed by a three-song stretch that gives Kid Cudi fans a great to look forward to his next release.
“Balmain Jeans,” “Too Bad I Have to Destroy You,” and “Internal Bleeding” offer a version of Kid Cudi for every type of listener. “Balmain Jeans” is haunting, yet indulgent. The chorus includes a simple chant and the album’s only feature from Raphael Saadiq. “Too Bad I Have to Destroy You,” which is probably the best rap song on the album, serves as a reminder. Cudi serves up one of his best rap songs in recent memory as well as one of his most complex productions. The last of the trio, “Internal Bleeding,” is a murky look inside Cudi’s mind. Without these songs, this album would be an effort without heart or soul.
Of all the instrumental songs, “Return Of The Moon Man – Original Score” is the only one that truly seems to have any weight and purpose. “Return Of The Moon Man” seems to be everything the previous song, another instrumental, is not. The song actually develops, taking listeners from an epic and stark sound to a calm, which is followed by a dramatic climax. The last song of the album wraps up the album perfectly, “Troubled Boy” includes a repeated mantra, “No one wants a troubled boy, leave alone the troubled boy.”
Originally meant as an EP, “Kid Cudi presents Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon,” attempts to hold listeners over until the release of the heavily-anticipated third leg of the Man on the Moon series. Instead of bringing listeners back to reality, Kid Cudi tries to take listeners back to the place they fell in love with him: the moon.
Satellite Flight is a legitimate album, despite its minor beginnings Kid Cudi’s improvement in production and his re-shift to the Man on the Moon mind-state puts him in the right place with what could be an epic conclusion to a beloved trilogy.