audio review : My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy ( album ) … Kanye West

audio review : My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy ( album ) ... Kanye West

With songs eight and nine minutes long, this album goes for grand and epic rather than Dark and Twisted, but it’s all the same in the world of Kanye West. He’s grown from a mere College kid to one of the brightest stars modern pop music has to offer. Conventional verses and choruses aren’t enough. These songs, laced with some of his most ambitious beats, aren’t bound by the rules of standard rap music.

There are choruses and bridges where you don’t expect them to be, rhapsodic alterations in the arrangement of the music itself, guest artists squeezed-in for the hell of it and… What’s with all these lo-fi effects on Kanye’s voice? I don’t know, but, unlike the Autotune vocoder abuse happening on 808s And Heartbreak, it works, giving the album a refreshingly raw and unpolished demo session type of feel.

It’s the old-school hip-hop drums that may never go out of style and Kanye West’s rap skills that keep things interesting between the singing. I’d rather not hear Rihanna’s whiny voice, Nicki Minaj and Rick Ross should be limited to one song each, the interludes should be tracked with the songs they go with, Power is weak and the Yeezy nickname sounds gay, but this still might be the best West album so far.

The annoying skits are long gone, so a good chunk of the album, which includes only eleven actual songs, is consistently on-point. That streak starts with a three-headed Monster featuring Jay-Z. He can also be heard on the next song, So Appalled, where Rza makes a pleasantly surprising feature. Then it’s on to the Devil In A New Dress; a hot chick whose 1970s-inspired theme sounds like vintage Kanye West.

Perhaps the most endearing part of his Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy comes at the end of The Blame Game where a semi-funny Chris Rock engages in a dialogue with what is supposed to be his girlfriend. She sounds either awkwardly copy-and-pasted, retarded or drugged out of her fucking mind, but it’s cute how she says what she says. The background piano music on this song is indeed beautiful.

my rating : 4 of 5

2010

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