Context – waiting to get my computer back
Everything in my body is resisting this review. This reaction. This whatever it is I do here (you review albums, dummy).
It’s not like I haven’t been having fun reviewing Kanye’s albums–I have, I’m learning a lot, I’m finding new favorite Kanye albums all the time–it’s just that I’m delving into completely uncharted territory. I don’t immediately recognize any of the tracks’ titles, I don’t remember any notable hits, I don’t know what I’m about to get myself into.
On top of all of that, YouTube has finally been on fleek with it’s recommendations, starting with up-and-coming emo outfit Remo Drive. From there it’s been a fun day’s worth of Joyce Manor, Modern Baseball, and Tiny Moving Parts. I didn’t know good emo was still out there and I’m SO EXCITED about this new development that I almost lost focus. Almost
Then the writing of this review came and I fell down more YouTube rabbit holes. But I will persist, dammit!
And I’m glad I did, this album rools dood. Right off the bat it grabs your attention with the almost industrial flavored “On Sight”, and immediately you’re aware that this is going to be a different approach to an album for Kanye. Coming in at a mere 40 minutes, this is easily his tightest album. No filler, no skits, no dragging moments. Just 10 awesome tracks.
And although there are plenty of examples of Kanye taking his productions into new and exciting directions, there are still a handful of moments where Kanye does his Kanye thing like on “Slow Jamz” or “Otis” where he raps over some sampled vocals from soul and R&B tracks, like the back part of “New Slaves” or most of “Blood on the Leaves”. These returns to form provide enough break up in the album that it doesn’t fall into Watch the Throne territory, where the album begins to blend in with itself.
All that being said, nothing demands enough of my attention like “Monster” and “Gold Digger” continue to do all of these years after their release. If it had just one or two stand outs this would easily be his best album, but as such it’s hard to give it the title of “Best Kanye Album”.
That, and I’m so excited to have all of this new emo in my life. It feels like returning to my parents’ basement in all the ways that’s not depressing.
- My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
- The College Dropout
- 808s & Heartbreaks
- Watch the Throne
- Late Registration