Check this album if you like – Kanye (duh!)
Favorite songs – Black Skinhead, Bound 2, Blood on The Leaves
Kanye’s first album “College Dropout” was released on Feburary 10th, 2004. All I remember about the day is that it was a terrible snowstorm. I drove an hour up to Best Buy in Fargo to pick up “College Dropout” on it’s release date and instantly was in love. Since then, he’s released 5 more solid solo albums, an unbelievable duo album with Jay-Z, and a pretty solid compilation album (“Cruel Summer”). His ego has grown to levels beyond anything we’ve ever seen before.
On Sight – Listening to this song is frustrating simply because it makes me like Daft Punk’s latest album even less. I was completely disappointed in “Random Access Memories” and this song, featuring production by my favorite French techno duo, shows what they are still capable of. 5 out of 5
Black Skinhead – My favorite song off the album. The drums, which I believe were taken from Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll Part 2” sound like they belong on a late-90s Marilyn Manson album more than a modern hip hop record. Epic. 5 out of 5
I Am A God – This song will do nothing to alter Kanye’s image as an insane egomaniac. Probably one of the weaker songs on the album, but not automatically skip-able. While lyrics aren’t Kanye’s strength, I though they were especially weak. He rhymes the word “God” about a billion times, but the “Mi Casa Su Casa/That’s How Cosa Nostra” line was especially weak (it doesn’t rhyme and it doesn’t make any sense). 3 out of 5
New Slaves – Very catchy beat on this one. Around the 2/3 mark, the song changes to an entirely different track featuring Frank Ocean. It’s strange because it seems like the part of the song where the song could go into a completely darker and chaotic place, it instead goes to a stripped down soul-influenced section. Makes no sense, but strangely fits. 5 out of 5
Hold My Liquor – Of all the songs on Yeezus, this song sounds the most like the Kanye we used to know. This song sounds like it could fit on just about any of his albums. 4 out of 5
I’m In it – This is the reason you listen to album and don’t just buy singles. A song like this would never do anything as a single, but it remains a great tune. Songs like this help shape the feeling of an album. 4 out of 5
Blood on the Leaves – Fantastic song! The old school hip hop guy inside of me loves that this song samples Snoop Dogg and C-Murder from 1999’s “No Limit Top Dogg” alongside a Nina Simone sample. Kanye may be an egomaniac (and probably a terrible human being), but you can’t deny he’s talented. 5 out of 5
Guilt Trip – Another song that will likely never be a single or be played on the radio, but it still is a great cut. 4 out of 5
Send It Up – What a crazy beat. A Daft Punk influence. A NIN influence. A Jay-Z influence. 4 out of 5
Bound 2 – Another of my favorite songs on the album. Looking back at all of Kanye’s albums, he samples old soul and R&B better than just about anyone. 5 out of 5
Much like “808 and Heartbreak” (and to a lesser extent, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”), this is a dark album that doesn’t feature much of the fun, commercially-appealing Kanye that made him so huge initially. There are no songs like “The Good Life”, “Touch the Sky”, or “Through the Wire” on this album.
At the end of the day, I’m left with this album and “good kid, m.A.A.d city” as my two favorite hip hop albums from the last two years. I’ll be interested how this album is received over the next few years. Overall, a fantastic release from the most consistent man in music right now.