Kanye West
Yeezus


2.5
average

Review

by William Lim USER (17 Reviews)
June 18th, 2013 | 97 replies | 5,540 views


Release Date: 06/18/2013 | Tracklist


21 of 25 thought this review was well written

Yeezus is an ambitious work that marries jarring industrial, idiosyncratic samples and some remarkable electronic influence, but you have to ask yourself, what does Yeezus actually gain from any of this? The output is, in truth, an underwhelming album experience. For the most part, Yeezus fumbles around with a strange collection of songs that don't seem to fit together at all, leaving us with a disjointed listen devoid of any of the high points which made My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy such a fabulous success. Not that an album has to have the melodramatic highs of Fantasy at all, but the reason that it was such a crowning achievement in hip hop was its sense of direction and momentum: a triumphant, empowering journey that so few hip hop records make.

The tracks in and of themselves aren’t all bad: many of them are in fact fairly well done (the opener, “Black Skinhead” and “Blood on the Leaves” to name a few). Sadly, the weaknesses on Yeezus outweigh the strengths. Kanye’s rapping is at its weakest here regardless of whatever interesting production is attached, offering almost no exciting flows or rhythms, and seem only present for the purpose of branding Yeezus as a Kanye record (as if the title didn’t do that well enough). Tracks like “I’m in It” or “Send It Up” showcase prodding beats and vocals which fail to add any interest to the tracks whatsoever. “New Slaves”, filled to the brim with compelling ideas, unfortunately only sees Kanye building up a climax, cutting it off, repeating this a few times, and then cutting into a completely random rock coda that seems to take the momentum right from under “Hold My Liquor”. “Bound 2” is the worst offender of them all (and, dear God, it’s the closer), playing like an extremely weary version of “Devil in a New Dress” with a sloppy Kanye limping around the track with his verses between a ridiculously annoying “a-ha, honey” sample.

What truly makes Yeezus such a goddamn bore, however, is its total lack of the flow or purpose that Fantasy had. It doesn’t take long for it to become apparent that what the tracks accomplish as a collective work is next to nothing. The weakness is simply because they don’t feel like natural transitions or complementing movements of a larger body of work, but rather like a bunch of random songs that have no business being together whatsoever. Kanye’s experimental direction is probably what’s to blame here, with tracks like “New Slaves” or “Guilt Trip” becoming so caught up in being minimalistic in atmosphere, structure or sonic layering that they actually lose a sense of direction and begin to simply rehash ideas to a beating-a-dead-horse effect, or throw in new ideas in an attempt to be compelling or edgy, when these new ideas are in fact far from interesting (Agent Sasco’s rapping on “I’m In It” being one huge example). The result is a ponderous affair of a record in which songs fail to lead into the next or naturally necessitate one another, and considering that many of the songs here have little value of their own, Yeezus as a whole completely falls apart.

Finishing the album and looking back is such an indifferent experience: it’s ironically similar to listening to a generic radio pop album in that nothing seems to have been accomplished over the forty minute runtime. Indeed, some tracks on Yeezus are quite poor, but others that aren’t so are also present, albeit lost between the poor ones. It’s a mind-boggling, hit-and-miss collection of songs, but the reason it’s an utterly neutral album experience is that the tracks that are actually worthwhile ultimately lead into nothing, and so Yeezus doesn’t quite seem like a failure as much as a totally forgettable record that just makes you want to listen to Fantasy or Death Grips or something. At any rate, meh.



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user ratings (1270)
Chart.
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
dimsim3478
June 18th 2013



3967 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

GEARING UP FOR GHOST NEGS

Digging: Trophy Scars - Holy Vacants

KILL
June 18th 2013



67082 Comments


rock on

Digging: Picchio dal Pozzo - Picchio dal Pozzo

1MicLight
June 18th 2013



80 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Even though I disagree with you, I like your review. Pos'd.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
June 18th 2013



7160 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It's a massive step down from Twisted Fantasy. It's just disappointing. The tracks with autotune are unbearable. Solid review.

Digging: Lord Mantis - Death Mask

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
June 18th 2013



1588 Comments


For me the tracks don't fall flat due to the auto-tune but due to other factors. At least the auto-tune isn't overbearing like it was during 808s etc. which haven't really aged well.

lou1000
June 18th 2013



747 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I actually didn't mind 808s, yes it wasn't rap but as an r&b album it was good imo.

Digging: Swans - To Be Kind

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
June 18th 2013



1588 Comments


As for review, disagree on some points such as Kanye's rapping being at its weakest on this album.
Overall though good write up on the album.

Curious as to what EDM influences you saw and where?

dimsim3478
June 18th 2013



3967 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Curious as to what EDM influences you saw and where?

Yeah, I think I meant to write "electronic" there. I'll edit that out.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
June 18th 2013



7160 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

His rapping is mostly good on this. I also dig the first couple of tracks that show some industrial influence. The album gets tedious for me in the second half. The autotune is not used nearly as effectively as on his previous LP.

FourthReich
June 18th 2013



15303 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

your best review since the shape of punk to come, great work dim. it's all good sput this guy doesn't deserve to be a contrib or anything

tommygun
June 18th 2013



21345 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

very good review pos

dimsim3478
June 18th 2013



3967 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks Reich but I'm pretty sure you gotta write pretty regularly to be contrib.

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
June 18th 2013



1588 Comments


Kanye is at his best rapping when he respects his limitations as a rapper.

FourthReich
June 18th 2013



15303 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

yeah but the quality of your writing is better than that of many of the contribs on here

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
June 18th 2013



20200 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

His rapping is mostly good on this. I also dig the first couple of tracks that show some industrial influence. The album gets tedious for me in the second half. The autotune is not used nearly as effectively as on his previous LP.

basically this although I don't like the first track that much either and there are bits here and there which are kinda cool

Digging: YG - My Krazy Life

Sleaper
June 18th 2013



3134 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

this review is by far the best on here. Im not just saying it cuz i agree on ur rating. You pretty much sumd up my experiences with it. lots of valid points, Posd

Digging: SpaceGhostPurrp - B.M.W. 2: Intoxxxicated

Buzzkillr
June 18th 2013



1510 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

so if someone didn't have the same experiences as you when listening to this album, their review is bad?

Funeralopolis
June 18th 2013



10439 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

how the hell can you not like bound 2

Digging: CunninLynguists - Oneirology

Sleaper
June 18th 2013



3134 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

no, if someone has a different opinion than me with an album and reviews it, obviously i wont totally
understand his points. This makes perfect sense to me.
ive posd a few other yeezy reviews that have the opposite view as me, but they were well written. Dims
just nailed this one.

bound 2 is the reason i slightly enjoy this album. Its fucking rad

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
June 18th 2013



20200 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

bound 2 sucks



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