The lunatic is on the grass…
He’s also rapping. And sending chicks pics of his dick. And interrupting award shows. And calling out presidents. But damn, he really knows how to make good music. That was a Pink Floyd reference, by the way.
Now, I’ve been pretty anxious to get this album. I’ve been religiously following the G.O.O.D. Friday tracks and I have found some real gems there, as well as some mediocre stuff. I’ve watched the Runaway film a bunch of times, just for the music (I just hear it). I saw the VMA’s just to watch Kanye perform a new song (I regret that, even though the song was awesome, I am now scarred for life). Even though I’m not a big R&B fan, I do like Kanye’s music a lot. His production is just amazing, few people come close to him. And this might be my favorite release from him.
Let’s mention that this is probably Kanye’s darkest material, both in content and in execution. There probably won’t be any successful singles coming out of this album; perhaps “All of the Lights” might be the only exception. There’s just this pessimist air around the whole album. It’s not exactly happy. And there’s a LOT of contributions. Most of the songs are contributions, even if they aren’t marked like that. Bon Iver, Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z, and a bunch of other people are in it.
The opener, “Dark Fantasy”, starts with a female dialogue before the music kicks in. The album ends just like that, with a male dialogue in “Who Will Survive In America”, which is sort of an extension to “Lost In The World”, which is probably my favorite song in the album. I don’t care much for “Monster” and “So Appalled”, I didn’t like them even when they were released as G.O.O.D. Friday tracks. “Runaway” is a great simple song, but it runs too long at the end, with the added extreme autotune voice. I like that sound, but it could be cut by a minute or so. I love the bass line in “Devil In A New Dress”, it has an old school feeling to it. “Hell of a Life” was one of my favorite parts of the film, but it’s changed in the album version and it’s not as good. “Power” is the most awesome song ever, and “All of the Lights” has a great bonafide thing going on that I like. The rest of the songs, like “Gorgeous” and “Blame Game” are not bad, but not great.
The samples here include “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath, “21st Century Schizoid Man” by King Crimson and what sounds like an autotuned version of “Woods” by Bon Iver. The collaborations are not really fundamental, but they do bring something new to the album. I especially like Nicki Minaj’s parts, she has a very unusual way of rapping that I like a lot, I’m getting her album as soon as it comes out.
Overall, this is Kanye’s most focused, weird, honest and darkest album. I’m having a blast with it, and that’s all that matters. I’ve heard many complaints about how Kanye has stupid lines, how he can’t rap, how this is so overproduces, how it runs very long; but honestly I don’t feel any of those. First off, I don’t think you can accuse anything of being overproduced after you heard The Age of Adz, and the stupid lines part, well I don’t really have an opinion on that because I don’t know anything about rap. I do think he has some awesome lines, but that’s just me.