Kanye West
Yeezus


4.0
excellent

Review

by Peter K. Mark USER (17 Reviews)
June 17th, 2013 | 115 replies


Release Date: 06/18/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Once it kicks in, "Yeezus" is an entrancing and hypnotic album.

Kanye West has always been the perfect representation of “hate the person, but love the artist”. Call him egocentric and arrogant, but his music was always a better portrayal of his personality. Beneath the vanity and the fame, there was the fragile and the emotional, channeled through “808s & Heartbreak”. While the term “genius” is a slight overkill, I admit that I admire his creativity and I enjoy almost every album he put out more than I care about what he says on television or how he publicly mocks Taylor Swift. Now if you take away the controversies, the stories, all the glitter and shining lights, what’s left of Kanye West? He gives his answer by releasing “Yeezus”.

Without an official booklet, album cover, promotional videos or heavy marketing campaign, the music is really all that’s left here. A CD in a transparent case sealed with red tape – an implied statement of “don’t judge the book by its cover”. It’s a ballsy and respectable move for a marketing enthusiast like Kanye. On the other hand, it creates high expectations in the sense that if the entire design of the album is shallow, the music better be insanely good. And it is.

Yeezus takes Kanye West in a completely different direction. Or rather Kanye West tries to take mainstream rap in a new direction. While “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” was mainstream hip hop in a nutshell, it was also a passionate, expansive, dynamic and incredibly focused piece of art. It’s very clear from the beginning that "Yeezus" is nothing like that. Its industrial, techno and EDM elements showcase a departure from the soul and almost R&B rhythms from his previous records.

Sonically, it’s a demanding listen and definitely not everybody’s cup of tea. From the polarizing sound effects on “New Slaves” to the acid trips on “Blood on the Leaves”, this album takes everything you know about hip hop and dumps it in the toilet. There’s so much happening in terms of instrumentation that it barely resembles the genre until Kanye hits - and once he does, he hits hard. His overall aggression and attitude towards the music is entrancing: “On Sight” is a particularly dirty electro rap monster that is only succeeded in brutality by the feral “Black Skinhead” with its synth attacks and hard beats. He also delves deep into trippy and acid-like journeys such as “Hold My Liquor” and “Blood on the Leaves” – the latter serving as an absolute standout song on Yeezus. Unfortunately, the album loses momentum towards the end with “Bound 2” reverting to a classic Kanye West that halts the otherwise impressive progression.

If you hated Kanye's persona before, you're bound to hate it even more now. His ego skyrockets in "I Am A God", a song with an already ridiculous title let alone absurd lyrics. "I am a god / In a French-ass restaurant / Hurry up with my damn croissants" is the most comical segment on the album and ready to become a future internet meme or t-shirt trend. There are quite a few similar moments here, e.g.: "When I park my Range Rover / I slightly scratch your Corolla / OK, I smashed your Corolla". These lyrical hiccups, while amusing, they are part of the album's appeal and take your attention away from the magnetic production elements.

If his previous album was a beautiful, dark and twisted fantasy, Yeezus is even darker and more twisted. It's a reinvention of hip hop and the birth of a new genre that comes from a man you’d least expect to take this big of a risk. I mean, Kanye West is at such a high point of his career that he didn’t need to make an album like this. It’s a dangerous move that will likely cut through his fan base like butter. But “You see there’s leaders and there’s followers” and his vision of leading the hip hop scene into new territory will be praised in the long run. As Kanye West himself puts it:

'At the end of the day / Goddamnit I’m killin’ this *** / I know damn well y’all feelin’ this ***'



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user ratings (1497)
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
FCY
June 17th 2013


206 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album now available via digital download in New Zealand through iTunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/nz/album/yeezus/id661389759

Hope it's okay to review this then.

Funeralopolis
June 17th 2013


11548 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

in before more comments

Digging: Quicksand - Slip

DotEight
June 17th 2013


5586 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Good review, but I've never understood the appeal of Kanye. He's a great producer and talented lyricist, but he's always irked me for some reason. Never really been a fan other than a few songs like Through The Wire

EaglesBecomeVultures
June 17th 2013


5253 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

here we go

Digging: Iceage - Plowing Into the Field of Love

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
June 17th 2013


21438 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is growing on me. lyrics are laughably bad at times but the beats are tight

Digging: Aspherium - The Fall of Therenia

EaglesBecomeVultures
June 17th 2013


5253 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

256 ratings good lawd

MortalKombat
June 17th 2013


138 Comments


Lyrics leave so much to be desired. I'd argue they bring it down to a 3 or 3.5. Kanye West has clearly run out of ideas after My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy so he just comes up with vulgar catchphrases. And people like that funny enough

PanasonicYouth
June 17th 2013


7411 Comments


i'm so conflicted about this
it's interesting but idk if i actually like it or if its so bad that i just need to keep listening to it so i can make fun of it or something?? i dunno!

also send it up is goddamn atrocious

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
June 17th 2013


31340 Comments


Out of all the places you could pick you chose the one I can check!

Release date is the 18th, and it's the 18th where I am, so it stays

FCY
June 17th 2013


206 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, Deviant!

Funeralopolis
June 17th 2013


11548 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I really hated this album at first but it has grown on me considerably, it is such a strange album. I recall someone saying this is his Daisy to his Devil and God are raging inside me and this is probably the most accurate way to put it, Kanye is back and crazier than ever before.

climactic
June 17th 2013


19361 Comments


rules

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

JeetJeet
June 17th 2013


735 Comments


Shit blows but New Slaves goes sooooooooooooo fucking hard oh my god.

Digging: Childish Gambino - STN MTN/ Kauai

FCY
June 17th 2013


206 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yup, agree with the Daisy reference. God damn, this is one of the hardest albums I reviewed. I
listened to it at least 20 times and couldn't decide on a rating. After a few kick in the nuts, it
rules.

LifeAsAChipmunk
June 17th 2013


4854 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I have such mixed feelings about this omg. I hate it but I really like it at the same time.

DotEight
June 17th 2013


5586 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"Here we go"

No obviously it was my opinion, and he is overwhelmingly liked on here so it's not like I'm trying to start anything.

I will give it a listen when I get home from work and start drinking.

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
June 17th 2013


22004 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Is the actual release the same as the leak? Production and all?

Digging: Miguel - Kaleidoscope Dream

LifeAsAChipmunk
June 17th 2013


4854 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yeah, don't mind him or anybody, doteight. just go with whatever you feel it deserves.

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
June 17th 2013


28630 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

it's really quite good

Digging: Jessie Ware - Tough Love

climactic
June 17th 2013


19361 Comments


i never thought id say it but chief keef in hold my liquor is on point



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