Since the release of his debut album The Documentary nearly 10 years ago, The Game has been the crown jewel in West Coast hip-hop. He climbed the ranks among his fellow MCs and captivated many with his lyricism, but many great artists have hiccups in their discography, and the underwhelming Blood Moon: Year of the Wolf may be that for the hungry Game.
It seems as though Year of the Wolf has slid under the radar for many fans. It could be the fact that it is being sold as a "compilation album," but in all honesty, we came to hear Game. Unfortunately, he, and the album as a whole, has received lukewarm reviews.
Check out a round-up of what critics are saying below:
The editors of hotnewhiphop rated the album at 73 percent, while the audience rating trailed behind at 66 percent:
While The Game has built up a reputation for putting out consistent albums, "Year of the Wolf" is, unfortunately, not one of them.
Game doesn't quite get the respect he deserves. Sometimes things like his habitual name dropping and controversy divert attention from the fact that he has been one of the most consistent rappers over the last decade. Since the release of his debut, The Documentary, he's delivered a series critically acclaimed albums, out-rapped many of his counterparts and at one point, was one of the only rappers popping on West coast. However, with the release of his latest effort, Blood Moon: Year of the Wolf, he's offered another reason for fans to forgot just how good he is. From a production standpoint, Blood Moon: Year of the Wolf also falters. The Grammy Award-nominated rapper normally surrounds himself with stellar production. Here, Game seems more concerned with chasing trends like with the DJ Mustard produced "Or Nah" and the Mustard rip-offs "On One" and "Take That." He rides the Atlanta wave on a cut like "Fuck Yo Feelings."
XXL heard things from the other side of the spectrum, giving the album a "XL" rating with high marks for beats and lyrics:
The Game is angry- a fact he is definitely self-aware of. While not quite Billboard successes like The Documentary or The Doctor's Advocate, The Game has buttressed his consistent resume in recent years, most recently 2012's concept album Jesus Piece. While the specifics of the cause are unknown, the symptoms are present-The Game is angry, and the music is all the better for it. While not a concept album in the strict tense, Blood Moon: Year Of The Wolf fails to resonate on the rare occasions where The Game strays from the somber tone to lighten the mood, such as "On One," "Take That," and "Married To The Game." Not only do they steer the album away from a solid state of cohesion, but aside from a disastrous radio campaign with "Or Nah," these tracks are the textbook definition of filler.
Blood Moon: Year of the Wolf is available on iTunes now.