Context – reading news articles and stuff
This is what the third album of the trilogy should have been if you forget Late Registration exists and make Graduation the middle section.
He’s bringing it home with the auto-tune. He’s managed to turn recognizable conventions of his favorite genres into super fresh synth lines. He gets real with his relationship to fame and questions traditional barometers of success. He keeps the features light to keep the focus introspective. This is an ambitious hint at things to come.
All that being said this is a largely forgettable album if you don’t latch onto the sound and general feel and pace of the album. It’s not aggressive enough for me, and he doesn’t replace that aggression with his usual swagger on this. Which was the point, I’m sure. This is a very personal album and (as I understand it) a real hallmark of the genre. It’s just not for me. T-Pain gets a pass at auto-tune because he’s T-Pain, but that’s about all of that I can take.
You should listen to this album. Everybody should. I’m convinced that the only people who don’t like Kanye are people who don’t listen to Kanye’s music, because if you did you’d give him a pass (or at least understand that his ego is mostly justified). He’s an important force in pop-culture and he deserves our respect.
But this is the extent of the respect I can show this particular effort.
- My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
- The College Dropout
- Graduation / 808s & Heartbreaks
- 808s & Heartbreaks / Graduation
- Late Registration