Review Summary: Committed Kanye is a bland Kanye
Kanye Kanye kanye, I felt like I knew you pretty well before 2011, now you’re just a stranger. It seems that he has won it all, but at the same time lost everything. I feel as if i'm always telling people to judge the music for its sound, regardless of who's making it. I was sick to death of people judging Kanyes albums from his egotistic image, before they even heard the music. Unsurprisingly when I told people to actually give albums like dark fantasy a go, they fell in love. So after defending his music so much, I feel as if it has reverted to the point, where people regardless of the sound will compliment his work where i'm actually saying to myself, "people are bias towards Kanye!!? What in the world?"
From college dropout to graduation, we were bombarded with classic summer tunes, reminiscing about being young, dumb and full of fun. Then we had 808s, which was yeezys way of experimenting with auto-tune and RnB, and for the most part, it worked. It was different, fresh to the ears and most importantly, it was a memorable release. But with dark fantasy, my view on him had just changed from being great to amazing. A masterpiece that was crafted by his previous sounds with innovative cracks left right and centre.
Yeezus first of all is one of the more unique albums that kanye has done, I appreciate his view on trying things new, but I just can’t appreciate his direction of change. I feel like this isn’t even a kanye album. It merely comes across as another G.O.O.D music collaboration slash trap release. Kanye has raised expectations so high, where his fans expect the “yeezy standard” on every release. And that is not something that is easy. It does take balls to release something after a classic, especially with kanyes reputation at stake. I honestly would not have been surprised if dark fantasy was going so be his last LP. However, kanye finishing off strong is something that is guaranteed. I'm not sure when or how it will happen, but it's going to happen.
While listening to Yeezus, it feels like i'm not even listening to kanye, more importantly, it's like i'm not even listening to hip hop. Often i'm thinking to myself this is some trap mix I have stumbled across. But sadly it’s not, It’s a Kanye West album. The album starts off pretty loud and crazy with wild wonky screeches produced by the masters of funk, daft punk. Straight away yeezus introduces us with kanyes new sound. Heavy synth lines and big bassey beats. It's odd, but intriguing. Slowly as the album progresses, my investigation towards his new sound becomes clear. His music has certainly imitated his ego, but in the most generic way possible. One word that comes to mind is loud. The album is loud. Nothing more nothing less, and that is why I am so unimpressed. Throughout all of his releases, I find kanye being an introverted sort of guy really pushing his emotions and feelings out of his body. But Yeezus shocks me, in a way where he’s extroverted and desperately trying to pull people in with a blunt and boring vibe.
There is definitely alot of potential in some of the songs, such as “blood on the leaves” and “hold my liquor” but it just seems that Kanye has put them out the wrong way. There is no emotion attached to the songs because of the confronting and over shadowing heavy beats and synths. At first, when I heard "blood on the leaves" i was very amused, thinking i was going to hear something that we were familiar with on 808s. But then the worst thing that could possibly happen to the song happens. Yep, the generic TNGHT shakey synth lines. It's so disheartening that a song like this could have expressed itself so emotionally and quite possibly add atmospheric elements to the mix, but just that one loud thing turns the meaning of the song upside down.
After sitting through about half an hour of unenjoyable tracks, I was woken up by the last track, bound 2. The thing about kanye is hes always known what suits his voice, and he works around it to find samples that fit his personality, lyrics and flow. Finally, in one song, he does so. This song is enriched in catchy, uplifting samples with a classic kanye vibe. I dont know how Kanye is able to mix samples so well together, but its something that almost comes natural to him. “Sweet nothins” and “Aeroplanes” together? Not sure how he does it, but he finds the perfect formula to mix the two successfully.
All in all, its a disappointment for a true Kanye fan. I cant help but think of Asap rockys “hell of a night” when I hear the majority of Yeezus. Asap was critiqued so hard because people thought he was selling out to make club tracks rather than sticking with his 2011 smokey chilled vibe. But what happens when kanye does the same thing? Its totally acceptable? This just brings me back to my first point. Judge the music not the artist.