Kanye West
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy


5.0
classic

Review

by Matt USER (2 Reviews)
August 12th, 2012 | 50 replies | 2,323 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An exquisite masterpiece.

5 of 7 thought this review was well written

For me, the title of this album begs the question: is the Kanye West we all know, a work of fantasy, whether it be beautiful or dark or even twisted? The controversial statements, the even riskier acts in public, the unashamed egomania, etc. Kanye West’s persona - and ego - have continued to grow ever since his debut album nearly a decade ago. After the release of the minimalist and heartbroken 808s and Heartbreak, West needed to craft a record as big as his ego, despite how impossible a task that sounds. Yet, through some work of genius, he just about managed that, and made a record that is both boldly personal and ridiculously overblown. The end result is a true marvel; a decadent, extravagant feast; the music equivalent of gargantuan ancient palaces and coliseums, endless mosaic-floored and marble halls, towering self-admiring statues that reach for the sky, a sweeping Renaissance work of art; you get the idea.

The sound of the album remains consistently huge across its 70 minutes – many albums have aimed for big scale, but just end up sounding pointlessly bloated, not this album; MBDTF is a record that couldn’t have been anything other than overblown; in that respect it completely reflects West’s persona. From the magnificent orchestra on All of the Lights (both parts), to the tribal drums and vast array of vocals on Lost in the World, the glorious choir on album opener Dark Fantasy or the beautiful piano usage throughout. The scale rarely lets up and is all the better for it. It’s a sonic wonder which traverses the highs and lows of West’s life (or persona, whatever your opinion). He also manages to get the best out of all of his co-stars, whether it be Jay-Z, Kid Cudi, Elly Jackson or new muse Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon; none of the guest spots feel intrusive or unnecessary, they all seamlessly weave in and out of the album’s smooth flow.

Aside from a few cringe-worthy one-liners (particularly one in Monster), West proves himself a better lyricist than ever before on this album, dealing with the excesses he has embraced as of his celebrity, decadence, wealth, sex, escapism (hedonism, basically), but on a personal note, he touches on self-doubt, insecurity and depressive lows, most notably on the brilliant, epic and beautiful Runaway, where the listener finds West siding with his haters, by agreeing that he is a douchebag. What we have here are lyrics that are darkly funny (“The same people that tried to blackball me forgot about two things: my blackballs”, “And what’s a black Beatle anyway, a ***in’ roach?), tellingly introspective (“I’m so gifted at finding what I don’t like the most”, “I’m an asshole”) and unsurprisingly ego-obsessed (“No one man should have all that power”, “But this pimp is at the top of Mount Olympus”).

This is one of the few albums I would declare “a masterpiece” without any hesitation (and this is coming from someone who would’ve never dreamt of touching a Kanye West record previous to this). It is a musical revelation; a grandiose, epic, ambitious, meticulously-sculpted and dazzling accomplishment. An extravagant work of genius from a man who’s egocentric, self-mocking, brutally honest, penitent, sybaritic, and self-criticizing. Brilliant.


user ratings (2813)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
KILL11
August 12th 2012



133 Comments


no

sixdegrees
August 12th 2012



16907 Comments


"The end result is a true marvel; a decadent, extravagant feast; the music equivalent of gargantuan ancient palaces and coliseums, endless mosaic-floored and marble halls, towering self-admiring statues that reach for the sky, a sweeping Renaissance work of art"

please tell me you aren't serious.

Digging: Ted Nugent - Shutup&jam!

Calc
August 12th 2012



12116 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

finally this guy gets the exposure he deserves

Digging: He Is Legend - Heavy Fruit

sixdegrees
August 12th 2012



16907 Comments


do you think you could fit in some more adjectives?

PistolPete
August 12th 2012



3579 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

yeeerrrrrppp, agree with this

Don't start the review the way you did with "for me,..." it starts the review off on the wrong note. Otherwise it flowed nicely, keep writing.

What is everyone expecting? The user rated it a 5, review obviously was gonna be praising the album highly, doesn't sound THAT overblown.

Digging: Jolly - The Audio Guide to Happiness (Part 2)

Spec
August 12th 2012



27102 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

masterpiece

Digging: Rinoa - An Age Among Them

ShadowRemains
August 12th 2012



20479 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

The end result is a true marvel; a decadent, extravagant feast; the music equivalent of gargantuan ancient palaces and coliseums, endless mosaic-floored and marble halls, towering self-admiring statues that reach for the sky, a sweeping Renaissance work of art


this is probably one of the most annoying sentences i've ever read

Pentagon
August 12th 2012



1998 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

its a great album, but yeah review seems a bit over the top

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
August 12th 2012



49971 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I only need one adjective for this review
Queef

Digging: Armchairpolitician - Seven Segment Decoder

PistolPete
August 12th 2012



3579 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

lol

Lovegood
August 12th 2012



125 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

HYPERBOLE

Calc
August 12th 2012



12116 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i still say the public needs more celebrities like kanye west and usain bolt. Their over the top confidence is refreshing

Masochist
August 12th 2012



7997 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"The end result is a true marvel; a decadent, extravagant feast; the music equivalent of gargantuan ancient palaces and coliseums, endless mosaic-floored and marble halls, towering self-admiring statues that reach for the sky, a sweeping Renaissance work of art"


The sentence both describes and demonstrates the album very well. It's exactly that--overblown, gaudy, and superfluous, exactly as it has to be to get its point across. Don't fuss so much over it, people.

I just got done reading up on this album, and "Power" specifically. I still consider it one of the most impressive songs of the decade so far.

Digging: He Is Legend - Heavy Fruit

MagmaWalrus
August 12th 2012



239 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Review is way over the top but still well written, so pos.

Digging: Nick Mulvey - First Mind

Gyromania
August 12th 2012



15461 Comments


the music equivalent of gargantuan ancient palaces and coliseums, endless mosaic-floored and marble halls, towering self-admiring statues that reach for the sky, a sweeping Renaissance work of art"


this is hilariously misleading. renaissance, seriously?

idk, you're kind of prosing on about west, and i mean, considering the fact that we already have many reviews posing the same questions, giving the same adorning praise, etc., it seems a little... redundant.

also, there are some bizarre paused because of really awkward comma placements, like this:

For me, the title of this album begs the question: is the Kanye West we all know, a work of fantasy, whether it be beautiful or dark or even twisted?


but that's a minor criticism.

KILL11
August 12th 2012



133 Comments


hey gyro clockwork review

Gyromania
August 12th 2012



15461 Comments


pauses*

TooLateToGoBack
August 12th 2012



1758 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

album is aight.

Spec
August 12th 2012



27102 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

omg so good

Gyromania
August 12th 2012



15461 Comments


btw, in that paragraph i first quoted you're confusing two very different time periods.

kill: soon man! i think.



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