Monday, June 17, 2013

Album Review: Kanye West - Yeezus

It's been a while since my last non-metal review, so I feel like I'm due for another one soon, and if y'all remember from before, I dug Kanye West's last album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. To be honest, Fantasy (and Kanye in general) has grown on me over time, and I jam his tunes pretty regularly on the old iTunes. Now, Yeezy is dropping his highly anticipated follow-up to Fantasy, Yeezus.

Yeah, I know this isn't the official album art, but it's so much better than the original. I mean come on, seriously?
So, Ye needs no intro, you all know him, a motherfuckin' wordsmith, and a voice of a generation, connoisseur of fish dicks sticks. Let's just get on with the review. This will probably be a pretty short one.

First off, this is not My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy 2.0. I thought it was going to be. I couldn't have been more wrong. Where Fantasy is a lush, bombastic album, covered in strings, horns, guitars, synthesizers, choirs and singing, Yeezus is its dark, dingy, and moody step-brother. It's interesting, because while this album drops some loud, obnoxious and cacophonous tracks, it also shows some really nicely laid out and almost beautifully produced sections, which stand out even more with the album's overall harshness. There are no strings, no big choirs, no shiny horns. There's Kanye, a buttload of autotune, a synthesizer, and a drum kit. Now, the synth takes on some piano and traditional keyboard sounds, as well as a screechy set of horns on the track "Blood on the Leaves". For the most part, the production here is loud and obnoxious, but I can handle it. But once these horns on "Blood on the Leaves" kicks in, I feel like I just downed a 40 of rageahol. They're tonally low, but they're the thinnest, screechiest horn samples I've heard in a long time. One of the parts that really stands out as one of the more accessible and beautiful parts of the album is the ending of "New Slaves" which features some absolutely awesome sampling of Omega's Gyöngyhajú Lány in the outro.

Even though there aren't many hooks and melodies on Yeezus (most of them are just samples, or Ye singing through some heavy autotune), the album has it's pretty catchy bits. Songs like "Black Skinhead" and "Bound 2" show their catchiness through solid drum beats, and awesome choice of samples. Now, even if Yeezus has departed from Fantasy's sonic style, Kanye is still a total champion at choosing samples. Blood on the Leaves" has even got some pretty controversial sampling. Kanye pieced in bits of the old song "Strange Fruit", a song about hanging African Americans. Surely, this poignant statement about race in today's culture must be the most though provoking and memorable part of the album, no? Well, no. Not at all. The part that I (and a couple other people I know) keep getting hung up on is the track "I am a God (feat. God)" is a tune that is featuring God. God, guys. Like, the big dude upsairs. Guys, guys, I think Kanye just ended the fundamentalist-athetist deba-- oh, wait, no, he's the only one who appears on this track. Oh, I get it! Yeezy is saying that he is god. Cool.

It's good to know Kanye West's ego can overshadow an entire civilization's history of racial prejudice and denial of human rights.

Bomb-Ass Tracks: Black Skinhead, New Slaves, Blood on the Leaves, Bound 2

On a Playlist With: Kanye West, Yeezy, Ye

Overall Score: 3/5

Douchebag makes decent music again. It ain't no My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, but it's definitely something fresh. The more I listen to it, the more I seem to warm up to it, and the more I warm up to it, the more I listen to it, but I'm not sure if I'll be putting this on my top 10 albums of the year list in December. Check it out, it's definitely an interesting listen.

Yeezus comes out tomorrow everywhere, but leaked like, three days ago, everywhere.

That's all for now, folks!


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