808s & Heartbreak - Kanye West
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 381 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 35 out of 381

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  1. Jun 12, 2011
    Perfect album, I feel like Kanye is going on a journey, that is relatable and compassionate, I feel like I am following in his footsteps through his albums, Street lights is basic, yet the way he sings with so much emotion, it makes it meaningful and important and seem so deep.
  2. Aug 14, 2010
    A surprisingly alright album from one who is known to do better.

    After the loss of his mother and the breakup with his girlfriend, Kanye was living in the doldrums for a while. And this album is the result of his sad soul poured on to a 12-track compact disc.

    Critics didn't expect much except failure for 808s. The idea of a good rapper doing a whole album in Auto-Tune seems pretty hard
    to swallow. But the day Love Lockdown premiered, I knew that the track was different yet beautiful and that the album would not be as bad as it was predicted to be. The bass like beat and Kanye's poignant lyrics and vocals really put me in a trance. A few months later when Heartless came out, I felt more than ready for the album.

    It isn't that bad. Ye gives pain at its most futuristic and most painful. He is a heartbroken robot searching for love while also lamenting it. His emotions are so real even if they are transmitted from this weird box. It only emphasizes his dark situation. He tries to comfort himself saying he feels great and unafraid but we all know the room of despair he keeps within.

    But the album is repetitive not just in content but also in production. Beats feel overused and at times boring. And guest spots don't really help much save for Kid Cudi's chorus on Welcome To Heartbreak. Otherwise, Young Jeezy and Lil Wayne don't seem like right choices for a melancholic album like this (really, a slow and overrated rapper and a high-pitched Weezy who wants to be a singer).

    But Ye still shines on an otherwise decent album. It definitely isn't the statement of his career but it is a good look at the egoistic Louis Vuitton Don's heart.
  3. Nov 9, 2010
    although many people will disagree i thought that this album was amazing. every song had a great meaning i love every song except for the last one for obvious reasons but this album still deserves a 10. kanye has always been amazing and he has not disappointed with this album.
  4. Jul 10, 2011
    Kanye West stares away from his traditional underground rap vibe to make a emotional, powerful album properly titles 8o8 and heartbreak's. A very enjoyable album that is definitely worth a few listens.
  5. Aug 10, 2011
    Screw the haters. This album is epic. Sure, it's not "classic Kanye" but it doesn't matter. Kanye finds a way to make it flow through this synth-pop/auto-tune masterpiece. I love all of Kanye's work but this album stands out. 808s has a totally different feel to it but is still able to keep up with Kanye's existing legacy. I think that this album is the no. 1 or no. 2 Kanye album ever. The last thing that I love is that Kanye didn't try to repeat this style on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and continued to make a great album in a different style.

    FAV TRACKS: Welcome to Heartbreak (feat. Kid Cudi), Love Lockdown, RoboCop, Amazing (feat. Young Jeezy)
  6. Jul 22, 2013
    Kanye was ahead of his time when making this masterpiece. That's why most people can't understand it. It's the most emotional and honest work he's ever done. His challenge of using only 808s to make the beats was daring and he accomplished, but people don't give him credit. His attempts of trying to express his feelings through the vocal melody with the help of auto-tune were accomplished, but people don't give him credit. The goal of creating beautiful instrumentation with memorable pianos and strings was accomplished, but... guess what? No one gives him credit. This should be the future of music. It's a shame most people just "don't get it". Expand
  7. Aug 23, 2011
    808s is a musical risk and a musical masterpiece. it's ahead of it's time and I feel it's greatness will be recognized as time passes. Kanye encapsulates his sorrow into one of the most somber records I've ever heard. I feel it has more relevance to post-punk and goth than it does to hip hop. Auto-tune was used to give Kanye a dead emotionless tone to his voice as if he was trying to revive Ian Curtis from Joy Division and the "drum" sound on "Welcome to Heartbreak" and "Coldest Winter" are reminiscent of early Cure records. While sounding emotionless he still manages to make you feel his pain throughout the record. I can't see how people were disappointed or let down because this goes beyond hip-hop and genres. Its a mans musical exploration and it definitely paid off. Expand
  8. Aug 1, 2012
    "808s & HB" is what happened when a temporarily-depressed Hip-hop artist made a pop album... and it worked.

    Kanye uses auto-tune in an artistic way rather than an excuse for lack of talent. The auto-tune mixes well with the cold, electronic-influenced production and lyrics, which revolve around different types of heartbreak.
  9. Dec 2, 2012
    Kanye West is a talented rapper, and there is not many of those out there. This time he is going a more pop route and instead of rap-offs he does more serious and meaningful things in his cd. and I respect that.
  10. Oct 28, 2013
    808's & Heartbreaks is one of the biggest stylistic changes I've ever heard an artist do. Three incredibly ambitious hip hop albums, then a soulful heartbreak record that pushes every one of my pleasure buttons. The way Kanye auto-tune's his voice go perfectly with the tribal drums thudding right behind him. It's a bold move and Ye pulls it off perfectly. His lyrics are his most heartfelt he's ever done, ranging from the main topic: Heartbreak, to hypocrisy to consumerism and to feeling as if this fame and fortune has consumed his day to day life and how he just wants to live a normal average American life. It's his soul under his swagger that proves he is more than capable than just great beats and witty flows.

    808's & Heartbreaks is a record that will age greatly and solidify Kanye as one of America's best hip hop artists. A-
  11. Aug 17, 2011
    KanYe's 4th studio album takes us in a different direction to his previous work, and it is fantastic. This is why Kanye is top of the game, each album has a different style, each experimenting with new ideas. It keeps him fresh and varied in his style. Some great songs on this album.
  12. Nov 30, 2010
    I've been listening to this album for two years now and i still love it. The sound is unfamiliar and cold compared to Kanye's earlier work and through his auto-tune adjusted vocals he manages to paint raw emotion in thick layers. The production is incredibly on point. This is the album i put on to feed my inner emo on cold winter nights.
  13. Apr 4, 2011
    Whether you like the autotune or not, you gotta hand it Kanye for at least not trying to make music that sells. This was a brave record to make and I give him props for that. He is by far one of the greatest artist of the past 10 years and yes this CD have been better, but its still good. He tried something else, good for him.
  14. May 13, 2011
    Kanye is doing what only a few rappers are trying with this album and that's making an "album". Here is a consistent sound and thematic tone that is somewhat engaging and brave. I love that he uses autotune and creates a world of isolation and still lets emoton leak through. I also love that he's letting the songs breathe too.
  15. j30
    Sep 28, 2011
    WHY KANYE! WHY! The biggest WTF record of his career and the auto-tune, don't get me started on the auto-tune. This is his worst and will probably be his worst LP of his career when he's all done. Not to mention his worst producing effort so far. All his greatest attributes go to waste. Sorry folks, just a poor effort from one of Hip-Hop's biggest talents.
  16. Sep 4, 2011
    This is Kanye's weakest album. I found most of the songs intolerable, and the rest of it was simply boring. The only track I enjoyed was the single Love Lockdown, even if it has a similar vibe to the rest of the album.
  17. Sep 29, 2011
    I feel like this is one of Kanye's strongest albums and in it he really lets you know what his life is going through or what position he was in at the time but not only that, i felt like i got to know him or understand him more by listening to those powerful songs. I actually think he should do another vocal album and strengthen his self in that area.
  18. Oct 23, 2011
    one of kanyes strongest performances, although weaker than graduation this is still a great listen. there are dark and depressing vibes throughout this album but still doesnt ruin it for me.
  19. Feb 20, 2012
    Initial skeptics would be wise to listen to the album in its entirety because its minimalist and stark compositions actually work better on the album than in the majority of the singles from this album. 'Paranoid' remains Kanye's best pop single by far, while 'Coldest Winter' and 'Robocop' provide further evidence of the electronic genius bubbling under what has become an unfairly maligned album.
  20. Mar 8, 2012
    Its simple science. He was clear with the title of what the mood was. He created multiple ways of making us feel what the theme was. Regardless if you enjoy Kanye or not, its hard to dispute that.
  21. Apr 20, 2012
    Terrific album, unlike any other of Kanyes releases. The album is unique in that it's beats are much more 'electronic' and 'depressive', yet oh so catchy.
    As usual, Kanyes emotions and feelings are portrayed in song, and it was during a difficult time that the album was made, so it's simple to understand it's depressive stance. Really good album.
  22. Mar 11, 2013
    Whether he meant it or not, Kanye transitions from rap to a more pop like setting. To me this was pretty cool but for others this transition might feel sloppy and boring. Whatever the case, Kanye still provides meaning and brilliant imaginative lyrics to this different type of album.
  23. Jan 12, 2013
    808s and Heartbreak is the Kid A of hip-hop. Fans didn't expect this coming. Maybe nobody did. But its sparse beats and minimalist production have a stunning effect. Nobody has used Autotune this well; maybe nobody ever will. This album is packed with emotion, honesty ("Welcome to Heartbreak", "Bad News") and idiosyncratic styles ("Street Lights"), but is balanced with more mainstream appeal ("Heartless", "Love Lockdown"). This album has paved the way for more emotional rappers like Drake. It's an underrated classic. Expand
  24. Feb 3, 2014
    You can hear the pain and sorrow that Kanye was experiencing as you listen to the album. 808s & Heartbreak is heavily underrated, as it is probably the greatest Auto-Tuned album of all time. It felt impossible for this album to be as good as it ended up being. This may be widely considered Kanye's worst studio album, but it's still pretty damn good.
  25. Jun 21, 2013
    Kanye's most underrated album. Period. Yeezus might possibly challenge it in years to come but right now, this is it. The songwriting, sample choices and subject matter are on point for me. I know that this album gets a lot of hate, but it's for the wrong reasons. I think that people hate it not because it was a bad album, but because it was a lane change and the fact that it was inconsistent with his previous 3 efforts and the beast of an album that followed. But that does not take away from the brilliance of it. However, that's a small portion of why this album deserves a 10.

    This album has had such a profound effect on Hip-Hop and R'n'B, it's unreal. It's because of 808s that rappers have become more emotional with their lyrics. Some artists this album influenced includes but is not restricted to:
    Frank Ocean
    The Weeknd
    Kid Cudi
    DRAKE. BIG TIME. So Far Gone and Take Care are oozing with 808s influence!
    Another small portion of why this album deserves a 10.

    The biggest reason this album ranks so high for me is because it's a huge turning point in Kanye's career. He made an album as to how he FELT at the time and alienated a large portion of his audience in a potential career killing move and made it out alive. Not many artists can not only come back after such an experiment, but produce such a magnificent Opus in it's wake.

    This album will get the praise and recognition it truly deserves in due time.
  26. Jul 8, 2013
    Inconsistent album. There are a lot of unnecessary autotune and vocoder. Yeah, that was the Kanye's idea to write the songs, but sometimes the autotune hits your ears and that's horrible. The album has a good part around the middle(Amazing, Love Lockdown, Paranoid, RoboCop) but it has terrible songs later like Bad News or See You In My Nightmares. Not good at all.
  27. Aug 26, 2013
    A challenging, icy-cold, yet radio-friendly album, 808s & Heartbreak features some of West's most personal, most experimental, and most brilliant work to date.
  28. Aoi
    Oct 12, 2013
    I love this thing. The autotune with the 808s works very well and it's so melodic and it just works and just wow kanye well done. Poor lyrics but when listening to this thing don't treat it as a rap album. The singing is a part of the beat.
  29. Jan 2, 2014
    Kanye took a different approach with 808's and it was a huge success. I love the fact that Kanye can put out an album where he does little to no rapping and make it a great record. This may not be his best album, but the unique direction he took with this album was a successful one
  30. Feb 3, 2014
    This album is not really rap anymore, but Kanye West is at his best. He's like a lonely prince, with a spleen glorified by Auto tune, which gives poignant tones to his voice. 808s and heartbreak is really mind-blowing, displaying Kanye's vulnerability and blues, as futuristic as primitive. The guests are awesome, like Young Jeezy on "Amazing", simply amazing.
  31. May 24, 2014
    Amazing album, even better than Yeezus. West's training following a beautiful dark twisted fantasy. Vocoder ans Autotune are used very well and Kanye show the world he could sing: Chapeau.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. Kanye West’s fourth album 808s and Heartbreak follows the crowd rather than leads it. Where he steps, the footprints of T-Pain are readily visible. His use of auto-tune throughout the album is heavy, and in songs like Heartless and Love Lockdown its use is appealing.
  2. The resounding verdict is that it’s a surprising, but bold and brave progression from last year’s confused "Graduation."
  3. It might seem harsh but let's hope he doesn't find too much happiness in the meantime. Loneliness is proving quite the muse.