• Record Label: Def Jam
  • Release Date: Jun 18, 2013

Universal acclaim - based on 46 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 46
  2. Negative: 1 out of 46
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  1. 100
    Yeezus is the complete affirmation of an artist willing to try new endeavors and wholeheartedly nail it.
  2. This album is going to be important for a number of reasons, but above all, it's going to be important because it is a great album. Very few people in the realm of pop music, if anyone, take risks like this.
  3. Jun 19, 2013
    At first listen it sounds messy, but the more you play it, the more inspired and essential each brutal interruption becomes.
  4. Jun 18, 2013
    Yeezus feels very proto- something, the roots of some aesthetic that has yet to be minted. It’s revolutionary at its most urgent, as on “Black Skinhead”.
  5. Jun 18, 2013
    This is Kanye’s record: a cornucopia of concepts and collaborators reduced to a singular vision. That vision is what makes Yeezus stand out as one of Kanye’s finest moments.
  6. 100
    Kanye West doesn’t give the listener a second to realize the album is more a masterly response to a masterpiece than a masterpiece itself. With one sweep of the hand, West brushes away expectations. And then he sticks you squarely across the face
  7. Jun 18, 2013
    Each fluorescent strike of noise, incongruous tempo flip, and warped vocal is bolted into its right place across the record's fast 40 minutes.
  8. Jun 17, 2013
    “Harder, better, faster, stronger”: It was years ago that West first took to that mantra, but it’s on the visceral, unrelenting Yeezus that he fully internalizes it.
  9. 91
    This album has the potential to mess with your whole year.
  10. Gratuitous filth, basically. It’s funny, but also a pity, because Yeezus is so tight, so bold, that with a few tweaks Kanye could’ve made his rock for the ages. As it is, he’ll have to settle for one of the best records of the year.
  11. Jun 19, 2013
    Yeezus is a divisive album, one that contains some of West’s most inspired samples, collaborations, and racial observations to date while at times being insufferably misogynistic and confoundingly lyrically lazy.
  12. Jun 18, 2013
    The last time West used the name Jerome in a rhyme (MBDTF’s 'Gorgeous'), it was a reference to racially disproportionate sentencing practices in drug cases. It’s that sort of doublespeak that makes Yeezus the zenith of West’s entire career.
  13. Jun 17, 2013
    It's Kanye West baring his fangs, over-sharing and consciously grappling with this over-reaching, over-indulging beast within.
  14. Jun 17, 2013
    Yeezus--like Yeezy--is jarring, uncomfortable, uncompromising and courageous--all the things that initially made Hip Hop great.
  15. Jun 17, 2013
    Yeezus is the darkest, most extreme music Kanye has ever cooked up, an extravagantly abrasive album full of grinding electro, pummeling minimalist hip-hop, drone-y wooz and industrial gear-grind. Every mad genius has to make a record like this at least once in his career--at its nastiest, his makes Kid A or In Utero or Trans all look like Bruno Mars.
  16. Jun 21, 2013
    If there’s anything Mr. West finds completely alien to his person, it’s restraint, and Yeezus is the perfect, chaotic, and ultimately uncompromising dive into this world.
  17. Jun 17, 2013
    Those looking for vintage soul sounds or even full-on raps from start to finish will be thrown several curves here. It’s an album with numerous emotional layers as well.
  18. Jun 17, 2013
    Yeezus is minimal but powerful, a record filled with more aural space than anything on “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” his excellent 2010 album.
  19. Q Magazine
    Aug 20, 2013
    Contradiction incarnate, Yeezus is Kanye's most Kanyeish LP yet. [Sep 2013, p.103]
  20. Mojo
    Aug 13, 2013
    Nasty, brutish, short, and wholly compelling, Yeezus begs only one question: where next? [Sep 2013, p.89]
  21. Jun 24, 2013
    In passing, Yeezus may seem like a blind attempt at genre-blending, margin challenging mash-ups, but once experienced, proves to be more of the encompassing, thought provoking, and at times gut-wrenching art Kanye West has consistently fed the culture with.
  22. Though it's far from his worst album, it's his least commercial – with its harsh beats, mangled vocals, and Marilyn Manson samples, it mimics the aesthetics of a DIY mixtape.
  23. Jun 20, 2013
    Yeezus isn’t his masterpiece, but it's an integral piece of an eclectic collection that will one day provide a window to an artist who will either become an insane Howard Hughesian eccentric or mellow into reality TV Kardashian fatherdom.
  24. Jun 20, 2013
    With Yeezus clocking in at a short 40 minutes, Kanye achieves his goal of creating a stripped-down, minimalist project; there’s nothing extra or out of place here. More importantly, Kanye makes it abundantly clear that he’s still got a lot to say, and a lot of new ways to say it.
  25. Jun 18, 2013
    Unlike Dali's separate delivery of the two, Yeezus is an extravagant stunt with the high-art packed in, offering an eccentric, audacious, and gripping experience that's vital and truly unlike anything else.
  26. Jun 18, 2013
    Yeezus ranks as more than a glorified placeholder in West's catalogue, but one can't help feeling that parenthood will compel his muse to even more Olympian levels of bombast and grandiosity.
  27. Jun 18, 2013
    What Kanye has created is the most honest--and yes, at times dislikable--record of his career.
  28. Jun 18, 2013
    Ranging from intimidating to wonderfully eye-opening, it's always forthright, and it barely falters.
  29. 80
    It’s not quite godlike, but Yeezus certainly feels like it was created by a higher power.
  30. 80
    The first five tracks are thrillingly and relentlessly inventive, but then comes a handful of weaker numbers which don’t deviate all that much from the Kanye blueprint (at least as much as you could trace such a thing through 808s and Twisted Fantasy).
  31. Jun 17, 2013
    Yeezus is the sound of a man just doing his job properly.
  32. Jun 17, 2013
    On the surface, he’s created a polarizing album that practically demands to be loved or hated. But with West, it’s never quite that easy.
  33. Jun 18, 2013
    Yeezus is a challenging album. Usually when people say that, they imply that there will be a reward for closer listening, but I’m not sure that there is with this album.
  34. Jun 18, 2013
    It’s a beautiful blast of humanity on an album--a perplexing, fascinating, absorbing album--that often feels outside normal human grasp.
  35. Uncut
    Jul 31, 2013
    There's much knowingness in his brazenness, and it's a mark of his talent that he stares hubris in the eye and nearly gets away with it. [Sep 2013, p.97]
  36. Jun 28, 2013
    As a sonic experience, Yeezus isn’t as dangerous as it likes to think it is, but it’s certainly the epic banger Kanye’s worried he didn’t have in him since he first ran to Timbaland to help beef up his drum sounds on Graduation.
  37. Jun 20, 2013
    It’s a dense, difficult listen, nigh impossible to compare to the rest of Kanye West’s work, and its rewards come slowly.
  38. Jun 20, 2013
    This is West’s most polarizing record to date, yet the discussion surrounding it gives a healthy charge to a rap game saturated with the same ol’ same ol’. So no, Yeezus isn’t a great record, but it doesn’t have to be.
  39. Jun 20, 2013
    It’s a nebulous, dense, paranoid web of utterly unfiltered expression that’s utterly or negligibly fascinating depending on how much you care about Yeezy.
  40. Jun 19, 2013
    Under closer scrutiny, a three song lull holds it back from being as powerful as it might have been, but I’m happier listening to this flawed, fumbled and underdeveloped Kanye record than I am a thousand other records that came out this year and didn’t even try to change the world.
  41. Jun 18, 2013
    It's not at Radiohead's level, simply because it's not as conceptually coherent; the lyrics may shock but they don't bite; the production (save for "On Sight" and a couple of others) is interesting but barely truly revolutionary within his own career arc, let alone when we count other contemporaries such as M.I.A. But while it might feel like an opportunity missed, at least Yeezus feels real.
  42. Jun 17, 2013
    No one is expecting Mr. West to turn into a latter-day Public Enemy, making political statements as a full-time mission. He, and we, are rightly fascinated by the limelight, by the culture of consumption and by Mr. West’s endlessly contradictory reactions to all that attention. But now that he’s transfigured his music, his words await an upgrade to match.
  43. Jun 17, 2013
    A remarkably aggressive album that challenges his audience musically even if it stays surprisingly safe on a lyrical front.
  44. Jun 17, 2013
    From a production perspective, it's a smash. The beats remain head-spinning. But 'Ye's lyrics feel lazy rather than merely drawled, and he's seeking social-commentary cred that he hasn't earned--a posture that can't help but grate.
  45. The Wire
    Dec 10, 2013
    His concerns are serious--consumerism, race, fame, relationships--but he rarely addresses them with the craft or focus they deserve. [Sep 2013, p.66]
  46. Jun 21, 2013
    Yeezus is ultimately most repugnant in how it heedlessly collapses all the value dichotomies that Kanye has mined so fruitfully over the years into one bottomless cesspool of narcissism.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 2168 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Jun 18, 2013
    If there's one thing you can expect from Kanye West, it's that you never know what to expect from Kanye West. Yeezus is darker and moreIf there's one thing you can expect from Kanye West, it's that you never know what to expect from Kanye West. Yeezus is darker and more twisted than his last fantasy that had us all screaming masterpiece, and after a few listens through this album, you'll be thinking the same thing. Full Review »
  2. Jun 18, 2013
    great production but it sounds like an instrumental album

    extremely bad rapping and extremely bad lyrics. Kanye definitely needs to step
    great production but it sounds like an instrumental album

    extremely bad rapping and extremely bad lyrics.
    Kanye definitely needs to step his game up
    Full Review »
  3. Jun 18, 2013
    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,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.
    Full Review »