If the self-mythologizing of "Yeezus" is a little much for you, how about a rap album where the MC is bummed that he disappointed his hero?
's "Born Sinner" is at the other end of the universe from
's latest — a quieter, self-examining rap record that's short on audacity but long on workman-like singles.
Cole's not an especially charismatic MC, but he has a welcome self-awareness and good taste in backdrops. "Crooked Smile" is soulful and rousing (even if he's too hard on his perfectly acceptable orthodontics), and "Power Trip," his bleary duet with the R&B Lothario Miguel, has small-hours gauziness. But his verses are well-greased machines that are often forgettable (
Two and a half stars
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