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Review – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

November 23, 2010

Well now you have it, the moment you’ve all been waiting for (that is unless you’ve already downloaded it like half the internet): Kanye West’s highly anticipated 5th studio album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is out today.  Much of the album is comprised of the soundtrack from the hip-hop mind fuck that is Runaway.

Kanye has strayed from his roots a la hip hop classics like College Dropout and  Late Registration but it is still an exceptionally well produced and lyrically impressive album. By blending the heavily synthetic production quality of 808’s and Heartbreak with the soul sample of earlier in his career, whilst simultanously showing a lyrical prowess unprecedented so far in his music,  West is able to create something truly unique.

Full review after the break:

The album opens with Dark Fantasy a powerfully narcissistic track of self excellence.  With RZA (of Wu-Tang Clan) assisting on the production, the opening minutes of the album are easily some of the most powerful and moving.  The song smoothly transitions into the Kid Cudi and Raekwon (of Wu-Tang clan) assisted track Gorgeous. Kanye beautifully illustrates his ability to pull together different artists, bringing out their different talents and crafting them seamlessly into one track.

With a quick stop at the album’s first single Power, the master collaborator quickly moves on the the feature-heavy middle section of the album.  The first of which being the Michael Jackson tribute All of the Lights which includes vocals from over 13 different artists ranging from Rihanna to Elton John.

At about track 8, Devil in A New Dress, the album makes a turn from Kanye establishing his newly empowered ability to create genuine hip-hop (something that many fans doubted after hearing the heartache that was 808’s and Heartbreak) towards the more somber and regretful tone.  He is clearly attempting to show genuine emotion to the public and illustrate the regret for his mistakes while simultaneously illustrating his newfound growth…and it works.  The album’s second single, Runaway featuring Pusha T (of Clipse) is a heart wrenching tale of self loathing which truly has you “toast[ing] the scumbags”.

Through the album’s conlcusion West continues to explore the themes of tragedy, acceptence and ultimately redemption.  One particularly powerful track is the John Legend assisted ballad of lost love, Blame Game. The end of the album is heavily remenicent of 808’s and Heartbreak style synthetically abusive production which borders but never quite crosses the line of to much.

The album is definitely up there with the Revolutions Per Minute, Sir Lucious’ Left Foot and Recovery of this year and is definiately an extremely viable contender for album of the year.  Ok I admit it, I’m a Kanye stan, sue me.

9/10

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