Average User Score: 7.6Jun 18, 2013I don't like it not even a little. Kanye placed the goal of innovation over the goal of making good music. The production has its moments,I don't like it not even a little. Kanye placed the goal of innovation over the goal of making good music. The production has its moments, but slips too often into a rumbling synths, bassy buzzsaws, high-pitched metallic shrieks that overshadow what little lyrical element exists but that's preferable to the hamfisted lyrics.
Kanye may have abandoned catchy production and mass appeal, but his lyrics burned the bridge. Kanye has always been a juxtaposition, mixing the fragility and transparency of a glass champagne flute with the narcissism and braggadocio that is typical of hip hop. Kanye has fallen (or jumped) from this tight-wire balance, landing deep within the infinite void of his own ego. The lyrics are self-exalting, self-congratulatory and self-centered. On more than a few tracks, Kanye is battling old shadows with incendiary lyrics, responding to echos with a rebuttal to the choir no one is arguing the point anymore, but Kanye continues to tantrum on; not with the witty lyrics of his past albums, but with brutish blusters, caterwaul screams, and childish yowls laced with production cuts and reverb. And, when the time comes, Kanye delves into closet of hiphop's past and drags out the autotune to compliment his tired arguments.
Kanye's flow ebbs due to a conscious decision to adopt the slow-paced percussive style of southern rappers that bounce over club bangers. Kanye's wavering confident self-aware delivery of the past that made his previous records so great is nowhere to be found, but is certainly missed.
The media will, of course, gush over the emperor's new clothing, with words like 'brave' and 'genius', but it will only be lip service and mouthed praise. Deep down this isn't about His music, this is about Him as a concept, and idea, a brand. the media's love affair with Kanye was built on the foundation of quality music, but in the wake of countless spectacles of egotism, and displays of self-unawareness, supported by unearned comparisons have laid the brickwork to this taj mahall, Kanye mutters to a reporter, "I am the best ever" and those words migrate to the front of music magazines and the world begins to echo back kanye's own praise, first framed as a question, but like all echos, the end trails off and the statement, "Kanye is the best" becomes a statement. And he has been the best, he has been really really good, but not this time, and no one will have the guts to tell the self-crowned emperor that he is naked.
I applaud Kanye's vision and ambition to continually grow and change as an artist, but new isn't always better, and sometimes it's terrible. Kanye's music is lacking the soulful sweetness and depth that counteracts his acerbic ostentatiousness. I won't be buying this album, and I will certainly be more skeptical of any subsequent releases.… Expand