Late Registration

Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. West and Brion are a good, if unlikely, match.
  2. Late Registration can't replicate the novelty of last year's College Dropout, but otherwise, this is an impressively more mature and labored-over album.
  3. By the end of this 21-track opus, you still might not like West's self-assured declarations, but you will not be able to deny his talent.
  4. Blender
    80
    Is it uneven? Yes. Self-indulgent? Unbearably, at times. But that's what makes West one of hip-hop's most exciting, funny, and human stars. He's unafraid to make a big, fat mess. [Sep 2005, p.130]
  5. Late Registration really wants to be an album album, which makes all the more frustrating and undermining the fact that it mirrors the flaws of its predecessor: the glut and the stilted sequencing.
  6. Remarkably consistent and almost infinitely enjoyable.
  7. "Late Registration" feels more comfortable in its own skin than its predecessor.
  8. Late Registration... definitely mines familiar terrain, but West’s zeal for clever wordplay juxtaposed with his unflinching confidence makes for a charismatic and often electrifying punch.
  9. Entertainment Weekly
    83
    Late Registration is more cumbersome and burdened than its predecessor--a little less cohesive, a lot less fun--but it rarely fails to engross at nearly every step. [2 Sep 2005, p.77]
  10. Los Angeles Times
    100
    [An] even more ambitious, superbly crafted follow-up. [28 Aug 2005]
  11. It's a cleverly and thoughtfully composed album, bereft of filler and loaded with style and substance.
  12. By freshening up his style without entirely abandoning it, West still has the rest of the rap world playing catch-up.
  13. Paste Magazine
    100
    A masterful sophomore disc on which every weak rhyme, guest and beat has been ironed out through months of hard work and several blown deadlines. [Oct/Nov 2005, p.120]
  14. The sprawling Late Registration is the year's most accomplished rap album, and in turn, he's done something that his heroes-- the Pharcyde and Nas, and father figure Jay-Z-- couldn't do: deliver on a promise the second time around.
  15. PopMatters
    70
    Review #1: The individual tracks vary too much in quality, but West has once again assembled an album that works from start to finish. [score=70]; Review #2: Lyrically, Kanye is still a few credits short of graduating to the next level. [score=70]
  16. Q Magazine
    80
    Practically every track on Late Registration is a glorious pop song. [Aug 2005, p.120]
  17. Late Registration is an undeniable triumph, packed front to back, so expansive it makes the debut sound like a rough draft.
  18. West is still a better assembler of talent than he is an MC.
  19. Feb 17, 2011
    70
    Late Registration's salvation (and, undoubtedly, Kanye's own) are when it basks in the sunshine after the rain.
  20. Spin
    83
    As ornate and bloated as West's ego. [Sep 2005, p.99]
  21. Late Registration, is every bit as ambitious as its predecessor, but without Dropout's strong narrative, it's less successful in realizing that ambition.
  22. The music offers further evidence of how far outside rap's usual strictures West operates. OutKast aside, mainstream hip-hop doesn't really do ambiguity or irony, but just as West's arrogance occasionally appears to be a protracted joke, Late Registration finds him in thrillingly subversive form, working in the production booth to undercut tracks' messages and shifting their meanings.
  23. The biggest problem with Late Registration though is Kanye's verses; he's not a great MC, but he doesn't know it.
  24. Uncut
    90
    Mostly brilliant. [Aug 2005, p.88]
  25. Vibe
    80
    There are still too many touchy-feely songs. [Oct 2005, p.161]
  26. Jan 3, 2011
    90
    Each of these songs offers more exquisite details than I could earmark in twice this space, many of them literary, which the English prof's dropout son rightly claims as his calling. But secret brilliance is more likely to emerge from the sops to his hip-hop base.
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 766 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 17 out of 246
  1. Oct 17, 2011
    10
    Wake up Mr. West cause you gave a an incredible album to enjoy for days to come. The amount of effort that was put into this album shines inWake up Mr. West cause you gave a an incredible album to enjoy for days to come. The amount of effort that was put into this album shines in the best tracks of the LP.
    Best Tracks:
    Heard 'Em Say (Feat. Adam Levine)
    Gold Digger (Feat. Jamie Foxx)
    Hey Mama
    Drive Slow (Feat. Paul Wall & GLC)
    We Major (Feat Nas & Really Doe)
    Diamonds From Sierra Leone (Feat Jay-Z)
    And all the Skits.
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 11, 2013
    10
    Late Reg is Kanye's greatest work.
    Best songs:
    Heard Em Say Touch the Sky Drive Slow Roses Addiction We Major Hey Mama GONE Diamonds
    Late Reg is Kanye's greatest work.
    Best songs:
    Heard Em Say
    Touch the Sky
    Drive Slow
    Roses
    Addiction
    We Major
    Hey Mama
    GONE
    Diamonds from Sierra Leone
    But the whole album is incredible.
    Full Review »
  3. Jun 18, 2013
    10
    From one of rap's best debuts to one of it's greatest follow-ups, not to mention, one of the best albums to ever spawn from the genre.From one of rap's best debuts to one of it's greatest follow-ups, not to mention, one of the best albums to ever spawn from the genre. Stylistically and sonically a step-up from it's predecessor, undoubtedly from the help of "Jon Brion on the keys". "Touch The Sky", "Celebration", "We Major", "Gone", an album all about showing off and livin' it up, in all it's glory and in all it's folly, it's jealously and it's unintended victims, "Gold Digger", "Addiction", "Bring Me Down", "Diamonds From Sierra Leone". From "putting those hazard lights on" picking up girls with "Drive Slow", to realizing and understanding that "Nothing lasts forever" and even though "it hurts", that "it may be the only way" on the street-poet-spilling-his-heart "Heard Em Say", to the soft, sweet, love-filled ode to his Mom "Hey Mama", this album found me really appreciating all the tracks not just for them in themselves, but what they added to the whole. Classic Album. 9.5/10 Full Review »