Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Album Review: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye West



Apparently Kanye West treats money like the government treats AIDS, he isn’t going to be satisfied until all the niggers have it. Yup, sounds like West is still a little miffed at Bush’s “racist” response to Katrina, and also is heavy into government conspiracies.

I wouldn’t be surprised if I heard a line about crack-cocaine being created by the government to bring down the black community, I didn’t, but I wouldn’t have been surprised.

What did catch me off guard with West’s newest album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, was how much I enjoyed it.

Normally I would start a review of a hip-hop album by saying I don’t really listen to the genre, but recently I have been listening to a lot of it, and some high quality hip-hop at that. So, I feel I am in the right mood to pass judgment.

Fantasy is full of tracks you are bound to hear on the dance floor. This could be taken as a good thing (they will be played a lot and you all will sing along) or it can be looked at as being pre-packaged, easily marketable radio-friendly unit shifters. I’m not going to land on either side of the track. I will just say, for the most part, West’s efforts are enjoyable.

The track Dark Fantasy literally made me laugh out loud with lines such as, “So much head, I woke up to Sleepy Hollow” (the first of two Sleepy Hallow references on the album) and, one of my favourite lines on the album, “too many Urkels on your team, that’s why your wins low.” That’s right, a Family Matters reference. That is automatically win.

Of course, for each clever line, for each witty quip, West supplies a bull-headed, self indulgent, simply put, stupid line. But again, this is to be expected with not only a hip-hop album (it can’t be 100% genius) but most importantly, to be expected by West himself (if you live under a rock and don’t know West is an idiot, I implore you to follow him on Twitter.)

I have made it six paragraphs deep in a blog about West without mentioning Taylor Swift’s speech, but I have to mention the beautiful young pop star, even though I said I wouldn’t, because the interlude for the song All of the Lights (listen for it on a dance floor near you) sounds like it belongs on a Swift album rather than a hip-hop album.

Fantasy is full of samples and guest appearances, again, the norm for hip-hop albums and West. But one of the best examples of this, and my favourite track on the album, is Lost in the World, which features Woods by Bon Iver. Yes, THAT Bon Iver.

The track seems to be West reaching out and saying, “Hey, slightly overweight white guy sipping on a beer at the club, yeah you! DANCE!”

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