Sunday, November 21, 2010

"Welcome To (My Beautiful Dark Twisted) Fantasy Island!" -Kanye "Beautiful" Review

Yeah even though it was floating around on the internet for some weeks now. I thought I would at least play fair to others by waiting till it was being "officially" released (Tues. Nov. 22nd to be exact). "It" being Kanye's fifth studio album aptly titled "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" Which all of those things at once. Dark, twisted, but all and all beautiful! Why? Well for one lyrically 'YE stepped his rap game up to the tenth "POWER" (yes, pun intended) which finally matches his production quality. Thumbs up & funny face Kanye style. However you'll still hear some of the bitterness towards women left over from the "808 & Heartbreak" album, but at least here he's being a bit more artistic about it. and rapping again, abandoning the short lived auto-tune fad (Thank you Jay-Z). Ok we all know that he DOES have help in the writing dept. (sans Pusha T, Consequence, etc.) yet he rhythms with such conviction that you'll almost believe he pull out and iPad and wrote it all himself. Man whateva! He's fighting for his spot to be placed among the greats and THIS one may just put him right there. I'm feeling this one top to bottom, like how I felt about "Late Registration" release. NO fast forwarding allowed. Let me break down the album track for track on what I feel will be his what...third classic album I think? Ready?

"POWER"-Straight workout! It's the Hip Hop version of the Rocky theme if there ever was on. The choir background, the handclaps, the guitar riffs, and the character self-referencing sample of "21st century schizoid man"...POWER-ful!

"Monster" (Feat. Rick Ross, Jay-Z, & Nicki Minaj)- Heard this one a while ago, and still feel it when DJs throw it on. Let's be honest, it's REALLY Nicki Minaj's record and Kanye, Ross & Jay are the guest star but this one's a BEAST!

"So Appalled" (Feat. Jay-Z, Swizz Beats, Pusha T, Rza, & Prynce Cy Hi) - Another one I heard way back in it's really raw form and loved it! The Rza I could have done without, but one bad apple does not spoil the bunch. And Pusha T's verse was a bit "cut & pasty" with the drug talk but hey, that's YA MAN!

"Devil In A New Dress"
(Feat. Rick Ross) -By far one of my favorite track off the album & Kanye records for me personally! The haunting Smokey Robinson sample, the piano break, the edgy guitar over dubs give me an "eargasm" EVERY time I play this one. This track reminds me of vintage 'Ye stuff, when he was re-popularizing old soul samples. I think that's...wait...I KNOW that's why I'm loving this one so much! I'd download...ummm, I meant I'd purchase the whole CD just for this one song. Even if I thought the whole album was wack! The song is GREAT as a stand alone song by itself, even though Ricky's verse is HOT, it still sounds to me like the record was completed already, and that was JUST added on last min to "remix" it for consumers to entice them to still cope the "newer" version.

"All of the Lights" (interlude) & "All Of The Lights" (Feat. Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Fergie, The-Dream, Ryan Leslie, Elton John, Charlie Wilson, Kid Cudi, Tony Williams, & Elly Jackson)
Yet another fist pumper following "POWER" this too has that same empowering sound to it, I like to call it "stadium music". I first heard this one being featured in the long form video he released for "Runaway" and instantly know this record would be HUGE! Then when I finally gt the chance to really sit down and closely examine the track I was like "Hold up, the lyrics have NOTHING to do with the hook!?!" Peep how he talking about domestic abuse on this and then listen to the chorus. the two don't even coincide with one another. Even the line about MJ has nothing to do with the rest of the SAME verse either! I'm not hating on it I'm just bringing it to your attention, cause I know your a smart consumer like me. That's all.

"Runaway" (Feat. Pusha T) -To be honest, this one I didn't dig at first. I mean it was cool and all but it's sounds like a 808 track he never completed till he revisited the track for this new album. It's not your usual club banger, but TRY NOT singing along when this comes on in the club. You're probaby the one without the drink in your hand to toast too. LOL! BTW, I like the extended version way better!

"Hell Of A Life" -I call this one "Rockstar Rap". Very dark, but upbeat at the same time. On this track he's reflection of love coming via a pornstar and what all that would entail. Ya know the ol' "hoe into a housewife" story. Interesting but DEFINITELY an album cut NEVER a single. Just due to the subject matter. It's room temperature but not that Project apartment HEAT!

"Blame Game" (Feat. John Legend & Chris Rock) -Probably the saddest and in another turn funnest rap record I've ever heard. Strange right? This one is about verbal abuse this time, which is ANOTHER leftover 808 theme. The lyrics hit home for althose that's been in a Rocky (as in the fighter & shaky) relationship, that's the sad half. Then the over heard phone convo featuring Rock is where the humor comes in at. Dope dope dope song! Grammy worthy even.

"Gorgeous" (Feat. Kid Cudi) - the hook goes;

"Ain’t no question if I want it, I need it
I can feel it slowly drifting away from me
I’m on the edge, so why you playing? I’m saying
I will never ever let you live this down, down, down

Not for nothing I’ve foreseen it, I dream it
I can feel it slowly dripping away from me
No more chances if you blow this, you bogus
I will never ever let you live this down, down, down"

Which is like something Kanye would say to himself in the mirror every morning (after "Wake up Mr. West" of course). I think he spits his hottest lyric yet on this on by far to me. I can see this being release as a late single after alll the hype of the stronger tracks have died down.

"Dark Fantasy" (Feat. Nicki Minaj intro) -Now THIS the track Rza did NOT the "So Appalled" track he's featured on, like everyone thought he produced. And you can sorta tell for that Wu-Tang style bounce sound that it has. But truth be told the highlight of the song is the catchy hook (that I can't seem to get outta my head) which asks the eternally burning question "Can we get much higher?" S#*t I hope so! This s*@t here is CRACK!

"Lost In The World /Who Will Suvive In America?" (Feat. Bon Iver & Gil Scott-Heron) GREAT way to finis off the album. It seems like a song that you play when the credits of a movie are rolling. LOVE the intro into the cut. Niice ending to a CLASSIC (Yes I'm claiming it is) album.

Here's all FIVE album covers to collect if you're into that sorta thing.

Here a link to listen to a soon to be released mixtape I added for good measure too. LISTEN

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