…with Kanye’s new album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. I’ve loved his work since his pre-College Dropout production days, and it’s so incredibly rare to thoroughly enjoy an artist’s work through every change and creative step over the years, but I do with ‘Ye.
MBDTF track listing:
1. Dark Fantasy
2. Gorgeous (Feat. Kid Cudi & Raekwon)
4. All Of The Lights (Interlude)
5. All of the Lights
6. Monster (Feat. Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Mina & Bon Iver)
7. So Appalled (Feat. Jay-Z, Pusha T, Cyhi the Prynce, Swizz Beatz & The RZA)
8. Devil In A New Dress
9. Runaway (Feat. Pusha T)
10. Hell Of A Life
11. Blame Game (Feat. John Legend & Pusha T)
12. Lost In The World
13. See Me Now (Bonus Track)
It was really interesting to see the curve from “underground” beats to College Dropout, to Late Registration and Graduation, and after 808s and Heartbreak I waited with baited breath to see how he could possibly advance his sound. After only two full listens, I’m going to go ahead and say MBDTF smashes 808s — no easy feat. Even Rolling Stone, a magazine I love (or at least loved, in its prime), notorious for questionable hip-hop reviews, came around and gave it five stars:
When Kanye West sings about “jerk-offs that’ll never take work off,” you’d best believe he means himself. Being crazy is this guy’s job, and judging from the sound of his music, business is booming. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is his most maniacally inspired music yet, coasting on heroic levels of dementia, pimping on top of Mount Olympus. Yeezy goes for the grandeur of stadium rock, the all-devouring sonics of hip-hop, the erotic gloss of disco, and he goes for all of it, all the time. Nobody halfway sane could have made this album.
Last time, Kanye went minimal for the electro melancholia of 808s & Heartbreak. But on Fantasy, he gets ridiculously maximal, blowing past all the rules of hip-hop and pop, even though, for the past half-decade, he’s been the one inventing the rules. There are hip-hop epics, R&B ballads, alien electronics, prog-rock samples, surprise guests from Bon Iver to Fergie to Chris Rock, even a freaking Elton John piano solo. It’s his best album, but it’s more than that — it’s also a rock-star manifesto for a downsizing world. At a time when we all get hectored about lowering our expectations, surrendering our attention spans, settling for less, West wants us to demand more.
(Read the whole review here.)