808s & Heartbreak - Kanye West
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 378 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 35 out of 378

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  1. Jun 12, 2011
    10
    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. Nov 9, 2010
    10
    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.
  3. Jul 10, 2011
    9
    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.
  4. Aug 10, 2011
    9
    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)
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  5. Jul 22, 2013
    10
    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
  6. Aug 23, 2011
    10
    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
  7. Aug 1, 2012
    10
    "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.
  8. Oct 28, 2013
    9
    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-
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  9. Aug 17, 2011
    9
    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.
  10. Nov 30, 2010
    9
    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.
  11. Sep 29, 2011
    10
    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.
  12. Oct 23, 2011
    9
    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.
  13. Mar 8, 2012
    10
    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.
  14. Apr 20, 2012
    9
    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.
  15. Jan 12, 2013
    9
    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
  16. Jun 21, 2013
    10
    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
    B.o.B
    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.
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  17. Aug 26, 2013
    10
    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.
  18. Aoi
    Oct 12, 2013
    9
    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.
  19. Feb 3, 2014
    10
    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.
  20. May 24, 2014
    9
    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.
Metascore
75

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.