Album Review: Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West

Has there ever been a more hyped album? I can’t think of one in recent memory. There were new songs released weekly, outrageous live performances on SNL and the VMAs, a short film, a who’s who list of rumored cameos ranging from Jay-Z to Bon Iver, a painfully awkward interview with Matt Lauer, one of the greatest music videos of all time (sorry Taylor) and a seemingly constant stream of some of the most epic tweets ever tweeted from the man himself. On top of all this, Kanye West is the single most polarizing figure in entertainment today. No artist walks a finer line between savant like talent and insanity. ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ basically had to be mind blowing to avoid being a bust. Luckily it was.

Every track on ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ is more massive than the next. Pulsing electronic beats layered over orchestral samples with the precision and meticulousness that only someone who is borderline crazy could pull off, or even envision. It’s the Sistine Chapel of rap albums. And one of the best things about it, is that at its core, it is still just that, a rap album. Even with all the over the top embellishments, all of the records best moments still come directly from Kanye himself. It would have been easy to make an apologetic but upbeat dancey pop album to win back the country. The type of thing that would make everyone say stuff like “it’s good to see that he’s starting a new chapter in his life” and “I truly believe he was humbled by the last two years or so”. But Kanye didn’t. Instead he created the most brutally honest, emotionally charged, unabashedly ‘Kanye’ album that he could possibly make, and he made the shit out of it. It would have depressing and out of character if he did anything else.

‘Monster’ might be the only song on the album that’s gonna get any ‘club play’. It’s pretty remarkable that this track actually ended up being good considering it had to overcome what is quite possibly the worst verse of Jay-Z’s career (where he just seems to run through a list of movie monsters) and nearly 2 minutes of Nicki Minaj, a death sentence for most any other song. But the thumping synth and simple but effective chorus, “I’m a need to see your fucking hands at the concert” combine to more than hold their own against the two almost out of control cameos.

For me the ‘coolest’ song on the album is ‘Gorgeous’. The track’s beat is provided by a guitar loop that flat out means business. Really an ideal song for just driving around and feeling tough. It has a serious “don’t fuck with me” vibe. Could easily see it in the soundtrack for some gritty cop movie like Training Day or something. The song seems to just be about Kanye being fed up with h8erz. Always a good rap topic in my book. It also features one of the best executed lines on the record, “I’m comin’ after whoever who has it. You blowin up…That’s good fantastic”.

Then there was “Power”, with dynamic in your face choral arrangements, perfectly timed base thumps, just the right amount of clapping, and some intensely motivated rapping by one of music’s true superstars. This was the perfect song to help everyone remember that West is not just some sort of egotistic sideshow, but a true musical powerhouse. The third verse of ‘Power’ might be the best by any artist this year.

Lost in translation with a whole fuckin’ nation
They say I was the obamanation of Obama’s nation
Well, that’s a pretty bad way to start the conversation
At the end of day, goddammit, I’m killin’ this shit
I know damn well y’all feelin’ this shit
I don’t need yo’ pussy, bitch, I’m on my own dick
I ain’t gotta power trip, who you goin’ home with?

For being so crazy, it seems like Kanye has a better grasp on things than a lot of people. Seems like he knows that the Taylor Swift incident was rude, but isn’t ready to say that it was as horrible as the rest of the nation seemed to think it was. Probably not that ridiculous a stance. Especially when, with regards to the whole VMA incident, he was right. I’ve never really understood our country’s almost unanimous overreaction to that moment. I feel like there are a lot more heinous and offensive crimes that we should be worrying about instead, like Walmart’s exploitation of third world child labor, blatant religious discrimination with regards to the ground zero mosque, Chris Brown beating Rhianna, the fact that Bristol Palin is still hasn’t been voted off of dancing with the stars. How can people still hold a grudge about some guy interrupting someone? If the NFL can forgive Michael Vick and give him a second chance in the NFL can’t we put things in perspective and just realize that Kanye is just one of those impulsive people that doesn’t have a filter, and move on. Didn’t MJ molest a shit load of little kids? Yet EVERYONE still loved him. Hopefully everyone can just get over it and realize that Kanye is truly one of the most visionary and groundbreaking artists and performers of this generation and that “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” is his opus.

Monster Mp3

Gorgeous Mp3

Dark Fantasy Mp3

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy 5 out of 5

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