Watch the Throne

  • Record Label: Def Jam
  • Release Date: Aug 12, 2011
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 42
  2. Negative: 0 out of 42
Buy On
  1. Aug 19, 2011
    60
    Watch the Throne is far too good to condemn them thus, but not good enough to erase the possibility.
  2. Aug 15, 2011
    60
    Watch the Throne feels all too fractured from the tension of two rappers (and two egos) at the top of their game, trying to get along.
  3. 60
    Nothing can be accomplished if someone doesn't stand up and act as the new gold standard. Kanye West and Jay-Z have proven themselves to be, at the very least, kings of just that notion.
  4. In place of politics, or any kind of point, all this album offers is a parade of premium brands, from Grey Goose to Louboutin. The overriding sensation is akin to reading one of those luxury-shopping magazines you get on planes while a mediocre hip-hop station plays over the headphones.
  5. Aug 11, 2011
    50
    The music itself isn't really the issue. It's the conceit, the fact that even though Kanye and Jay-Z truthfully are nailing what pop can sound like, they use their royal stature not to communicate fresh ideas but pander to their subjects because they f*cking can.
  6. Aug 11, 2011
    50
    Hype and arrogance created Watch the Throne and stifled the creative revelation it could have been. It would be nice if that could serve as a kind of lesson for the hip hop world, but somehow that seems unlikely.
  7. Aug 8, 2011
    50
    In many ways, West and Jay-Z are saying something similar on their new album. But their approach is not to shine a spotlight on their community. Instead, they urge listeners to "watch the throne," and gaze in awe on their good fortune.
  8. 40
    Watch the Throne is more notable for its general lack of impact. Neither as compulsively neurotic as Eminem, as languidly characterful as Snoop Dogg, nor as furiously articulate as Nas, the raps here represent a pretty mediocre, cardboard kind of throne, truth be told.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 412 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 70 out of 89
  2. Negative: 8 out of 89
  1. Aug 16, 2011
    10
    This is incredible album jay z & kanye west did a masterpiece. My favorite tracks are no church gotta have it, n in paris,otis, ham,liftThis is incredible album jay z & kanye west did a masterpiece. My favorite tracks are no church gotta have it, n in paris,otis, ham,lift up,who gon stop me,murder to excellence,joy,prime time and ham. Don't waste your time with the reguler version do yourself a favor get the deluxe trust me its worth it. Kanye is differently the producer of year with this and dark fantasy. I go further and say artist of the year. This best duo of songs put together since the great outkast bless us the speakerbox and love below masterpiece. Thanks for no leaks Full Review »
  2. Aug 12, 2011
    9
    Watch The Throne is just as, if not more experimental than Kanye's "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy," but in the end doesn't sound asWatch The Throne is just as, if not more experimental than Kanye's "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy," but in the end doesn't sound as polished or fleshed out musically. This is a very good album, but it's not going to be something that everyone can enjoy. I did enjoy it, and I feel it has some very clear amazing stand-out tracks, such as Murder to Excellence. The epic, castle-music feel that they were going for is captured in their attempts more often than not while the balance of grandiose rhyming on their own status and lifestyle is also complimented by awareness of black culture and where they individually came from. If you complain about the subject matter of this album, you are not listening close enough.

    The low point of the album is Lift Off, which is too long to be an intro, but also too little on relevant vocals to be considered a real song. It just goes nowhere and feels underwhelming. If you are a fan of either Kanye West or Jay-Z then you will likely not be disappointed with this album. It feels like a very clear love/hate type of project. There isn't a cohesive feel or atmosphere that the album has other than attempting to deliver it's tracks to the listener on an epic scale, which works. It gives Watch The Throne a level of versatility that will be another double-edged sword in how it is perceived. No two people will have the same favorite songs on this album. Perhaps greater than a collaboration this monumental though, is that the album is constantly taking chances and never plays it safe. That alone is worth more than a majority of what mainstream music has to offer. I wish I could give it an 8.5 but I can't, so I rounded up to a 9. At the very least, Watch The Throne is an album all music fans should check out. It is Kanye and Jay-Z trying to push themselves, each other, and hip hop to another level. It doesn't work so smoothly all the time, but there will be something for everyone to enjoy.
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 12, 2011
    10
    On of the most hyped hip-hop albums of the decade has finally arrived. Does it deliver? Yes, yes it does. Great tracks like "Murder toOn of the most hyped hip-hop albums of the decade has finally arrived. Does it deliver? Yes, yes it does. Great tracks like "Murder to Excellence", "Who Gon Stop Me", "Welcome to the Jungle" and "Niggas in Paris" are surely to become fan favourite. However, there are hidden gems, like "Made in America" feat. Frank Ocean, "Why I Love You" feat. Mr. Hudson and, by far the deepest song on the album, "New Day", in which Kanye and Jay address their sons, asking them for forgiveness for putting the weight of the celebrity world on their shoulders. The production is another level, just like My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, simply amazing. Kanye is the greatest producer of this decade, and in my humble opinion, of all time. His ego is only out done by the amazing level of commitment he puts in his production. The small detail that you catch from time to time never cease to amaze. Jay puts one of his finest verses in this album, and shows his amazing lyrical talent. All in all, an amazing album, done by two of hip-hops biggest diamonds right now. Full Review »