Graduation - Kanye West

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Weighed and measured, Graduation is easily the best rap album this year.
  2. Musically, at least, it’s the most accomplished thing he’s ever done.
  3. Every single track offers up its momentary pleasures--choruses that make you say yeah on songs you've already found wanting, confessional details and emotional aperçus on an album that still reduces to quality product when they're over.
  4. On Graduation, West tries hard to address the problems on his first two albums, and succeeds: The new disc is tighter than "Late Registration" (fifty-one minutes long), with no skits (thank heavens) and less ornate production.
  5. West crosses genres with wilful and speedy abandon, taking the listener on an epic quest where the journey is just as enjoyable and unpredictable as the destination.
  6. Chicagoan West innovatively samples Elton John ('Good Morning'), imports Coldplay's Chris Martin for the 'Homecoming' hook, and plays to Young Jeezy's ad-libbing ability on 'Can't Tell Me Nothing.' Lyrically, West sticks to his "I'm so self-conscious" tip, but unlike 50, he knows his rhyme schemes.
  7. The bliss that does surface on Graduation is all in the grooves, which range further than West has ever gone before.
  8. While it might not be as substantial a record as we're used to hearing from him, it is his greatest leap forward, and further proof that few are as skilled at tracing out the complicated contours of pride, success and ambition as he is.
  9. West's writing and delivery has improved since "The College Dropout," though they're still marked by both a cleverness and a clumsiness.
  10. Fascinatingly flawed, Graduation finds an imperfect man seeking, and occasionally finding, perfection in his music.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 422 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 11 out of 141
  1. May 8, 2011
    By far one of Kanye's best albums. And definetely one of my favourites too.
  2. RickyQ
    Sep 14, 2007
    The whole album still feels like classic Kanye yet most of it sounds nothing like his older stuff. Graduation's beats seem to be more electronic and popish rather than what is usually considered rap/hip-hop. Kanye fans might be turned off by this, but I find it to be rather refreshing. I was disappointed at first with this new sound, but after hearing it quite a few times, it really grew on me. It's a shame that the skits got dropped though, as dumb as they were they were still rather funny. There is still one thing that hasn't changed, Kanye is a lyrical genius. For example, the Back to the Future reference in "Good Morning" is a great as is the Adam and Eve line in "Can't Tell Me Nothing". Even when he rhymes the same word three times in a row, it just works. He has always been different from the norm (especially compared to 50 Cent). Few people can do it like Kanye and this album is proof of that. If you just want to get the top titles off of Graduation make sure you download these: "Good Morning" (it is amazing, the first track which really sets the mood of the album), "Stronger" (the best song on the album), "Can't Tell Me Nothing" (this reminds me of "Diamonds from Sierra Leone"), "Flashing Lights" (a very cool beat), "Homecoming" (very catchy song with some great lyrics), and "Big Brother" (a very nice song to end the album). "Champion" and "Everything I Am" are also pretty good. The only two really sore spots on the album are "Barry Bonds" and "Drunk n Hot Girls" (it's a really annoying song). So in the end Graduation is just as good as his previous efforts. Kanye always releases quality and this album is no exception. Is it his best album? It's hard to say if it is, but it comes really close. All of Kanye's albums are so great that it's hard to pick a favourite especially as this one is so different. But it is safe to say that this is my favourite album of the year. Keep up the good work Kanye! Full Review »
  3. MusicalJ
    Sep 14, 2007
    Next to perfect, some of the people here are just hatin. Kanye's a genius; every track is great, nothing to skip. The production and beats are absolute perfection, listen with headphones and you'll catch some nice suprises and nuance's. The lyrics this time around are less substantial in terms of cultural references than the past two efforts, but they're ALL positve (which I think is great) and they still reflect Kanye's character, charm, and sense of humor, and that comes out worth a lot. This record is about the individual, the graduate, and what he percieves himself to have accomplished. It's brilliantly conceptualized and the album works best as a whole from "Good Morning" to the story's beginning "Champion", to kickin' back "The Good Life" through why he did it "The Glory", to the home coming "Homecoming" to family business @ home "Big Brother". However, the indivisdual tracks work really well individually as well and these 2 concepts make for one hell of a classic record. Full Review »