808s & Heartbreak - Kanye West
808s & Heartbreak Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 370 Ratings

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  • Summary: The fourth album for the Grammy-winning rapper features Young Jezzy, Lil Wayne, Mr. Hudason, and Kid Cudi.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. It’s with his latest masterpiece, 808s & Heartbreak, that he has demonstrated, with impeccable skill, that he is supreme, yet again.
  2. 90
    In 2008 Kanye struggled through tragedy so great that it forced him to go left. And ironically, at his darkest hour, Kanye has created his greatest album to date.
  3. The album is so successful because of his winning ways with both song and album construction, and with the way he captures a particular feeling through unusual, evocative, carefully crafted music that’s both simple and complex, cold and warm, mechanical and human, melodic and harsh.
  4. 80
    It is his most facinating, and bewildering, record to date. [Jan 2008, p.104]
  5. Heartbreak is a bittersweet sleeper that hovers somewhere between an interesting failure and a secret success. It seems destined to be the weird little orphan that fans single out as a favorite.
  6. Messianic rapper Kanye West has survived grief and heartbreak to expands pop parameters on his new release.
  7. It is by far the strangest record he's ever made: a willfully sullen and uncompromising electro-pop album from one of hip-hop's biggest stars.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 96
  2. Negative: 20 out of 96
  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. Expand
  2. 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. Expand
  3. 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. Expand
  4. 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. Expand
  5. 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
  6. 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 Expand
  7. 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. Expand

See all 96 User Reviews