Review Summary: A so-so attempt at a Concept album
808s and Heartbreak was Kanye West's first real attempt at a concept album. The album is really uneven and has innovative moments and plain boring moments. I loved this album back in 2008 but ,compared to West's subsequent albums, "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" and "Yeezus", this album is ordinary and seems designed for radio. The real problem with this album is that it doesn't take enough chances. Kanye West is at his best when he abandons traditional modern hip hop and creating shocking abrasive work.
"Say You Will" and "Welcome To Heartbreak" start the album on a dark and angry note that is also unfortunately a very boring one.
Track#3 Heartless is probably destined to be a pop classic. This song is probably the most catchy on the album. But, it is also the most ordinary.
"Amazing ft. Young Jeezy" is only so-so. Kanye's Sing-songy delivery is lame to say the least and an incredibly poor use of Autotune. Young Jeezy's verses are crisp and creative but really just standard.
"Love Lockdown" is another standout on a so-so album. This song is the best use of Autotune I have ever seen in hip-hop. This song is the complex song on the album and shows the genius that West can be.
"Paranoid" and "Robocop" are stupid. Plain and Simple.
"Street Lights" is a good use of Autotune and reminds me of Stevie Wonder circa 1970-1980s. In fact, Kanye even sounds like Mr. Wonder in this song.
Bad News is boring and nothing special.
"See You In My Nightmares" is really a disappointment. This song features an awful electronic beat and really poor spoken-word style rapping from Lil Wayne. Simply Awful.
"Coldest Winter is yet another awful song.
"Pinocchio Story" is actually quite clever. It features a Auto-tuned Kanye crooning about what it means to be a celebrity. The following lyrics from "Pinocchio Story" neatly sums up Kanye's musical aspirations:"They always say "Kanye, he keeps it real boy"
"Pinocchio's story is, I just wanna be a real boy"