Kanye West has found Jesus Christ. Lucky old Christ. If I were Christ I’d have hidden out a while longer, frankly, but there we are. The most lauded (mysteriously) performer in the world right now wishes us to believe that he has been reborn, as a kind of cross between Billy Graham and the Revd Ian Paisley. The man who previously requested his girlfriend to perform oral sex upon him so that he didn’t get ‘spunk on his mink’ is now instructing people not to have premarital sex. The man who recently described himself as ‘beyond all doubt’ the greatest artist in the entire history of the world is now suffused with humility, as befitting a Christian proselytiser.
You can believe this latest schtick if you want; I don’t. It’s just another multicoloured cloak for Kanye to wear and shock the world, for there is nothing more shocking than a bad-ass rapper shouting at you about Jesus. I like him for wrong-footing the liberals at every stage, with his previous words of support for Donald Trump and now this. But I don’t quite buy it.
So, a gospel hip-hop album with a few decent tunes and an absolute absence of profanity, unless you find, as I do, the patent insincerity more profane than any number of growled muthafuckas. His Sunday Service choir performs a fractured and rather joyless gospel intro in ‘Every Hour’. ‘Follow God’ has a nice vocal and a sweet church organ. ‘God Is’ may be the stand-out track, a keened ballad recalling Percy Sledge. But there’s still the clunking, declamatory verbiage to wade through, no better now than when he was just boasting in a secular manner.