Kanye West
Yeezus


3.5
great

Review

by IronGiant USER (15 Reviews)
June 26th, 2014 | 40 replies


Release Date: 2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Kanye West at his most confident

Kanye West is no doubt one of the most controversial artists of the last decade; his blend of brash egotism and excessive self-assurance has proved to be paradoxically both socially cancerous as well as professionally advantageous. Despite how you may feel about Kanye, however, there is no doubt that he has a formula that has proven successful, an algorithmic method of creating and producing music that has helped him receive critical acclaim and wide-spanning traction.

2013’s Yeezus shows Kanye’s first attempt at pleasing the massive audience that was attained by 2010’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, an album that upon and shortly following release was adorned with the coveted ‘magnum opus’ title. However those expecting a MBDTF Part 2 will most certainly be disappointed, for Yeezus manages to set itself apart from every other album in the rapper’s discography, which should be no surprise to educated fans of the artist.

Each one of Kanye’s albums, from the deep soul of The College Dropout to the auto-tune and ballad-like lyricism of 808’s and Heartbreak, has its own unique flavor, attributes that are specific to that particular album, all while managing to retain the same charm and wit that is a staple on every record.

Within the first seconds of opening track “On Sight”, Yeezus proudly wears its new-found influences on its sleeve. There are the ones that are immediately noticeable: the EDM-meets-Trap groove of “New Slaves”, the grating, almost industrial sounding, “Send It Up”, which boasts a beat that sounds like a herd of elephants mourning the death of a fallen brother.

But then there are the less obvious ones, the influences that lay dormant within the tracks’ DNA. For instance, album highlight “New Slaves”’s coda contains strings, organ, and wistful guitar, providing an almost neo-soul backdrop to the piece. Yeezus also shows Kanye paying homage to his racial roots; the record infuses many different African elements into the songs, giving them an almost primordial feel, as if these songs are modern takes on the classic rituals and hymns from the primitive tribes of the culture’s past. This is most evident on the tribal-like thump of “Black Skinhead”, which in addition to its funky percussion also contains a chorus (sort of) that is as fun to sing along with as it is to listen to. “I’m In It” possesses the voice of what sounds like an ancient tribal leader who sings his heart out, as if in a desperate endeavor to link his relic past with the modern society around him in hopes of keeping his culture alive.

It is the little things like that voice in “I’m In It” or the video game music meets Las Vegas Strip beat of “Guilt Trip” that make Yeezus stand out to me. And no, it doesn’t have the grandiose and cinematic feel that MBDTF does, or the street-wise and sleek charm of Late Registration. And that's ok. Yeezus isn't trying to be like those albums. It's comfortable in its own skin.

In fact, where Yeezus excels in is its ability to craft an atmosphere. Whether it’s the late night comedown of “Hold My Liquor” or the club banger ballad “Blood On The Leaves”, Kanye manages to craft a unique environment for each track.

And perhaps this is the album’s downfall. Yeezus is angular; the tracks do not flow together as seamlessly as some of Kanye’s past work and the songs themselves never settle on an idea for too long. Kanye’s disposition is accurately reflected through these tracks; the feelings of discomfort and fast-paced change that may have been occurring in the artist’s life at the time of the album’s inception are symbolically represented in the songs’ inability to find an aural sweet spot to nestle into and capitalize.

In order to truly appreciate Yeezus, it is best to look at the album as a self-titled endeavor, an album that is more concerned with solidifying Kanye’s confidence in what he does and who he is rather than providing a Grammy-caliber performance. Sure Kanye still has room to grow; after all, with lyrics like “Chasin’ love, lot of bittersweet hours lost / Eatin’ Asian pussy, all I need was sweet and sour sauce” among others that rear their sophomoric heads every now and then throughout the album’s relatively short 40-minute run time, it is sometimes hard to recognize the artist’s vision as legitimate and take Yeezus, and ultimately Kanye himself, completely seriously.

So whether Yeezus is recognized as a worthy addition to the artist’s discography or rather merely regarded as an awkward and half-baked transitional album that showed Kanye’s struggle to find himself as an artist post-magnum opus, only time will tell. Until then, all there’s left to do is enjoy Yeezus for what it is, and not for what it could or should have been.



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user ratings (2457)
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
June 25th 2014


24403 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeezy season approaching

Digging: Protest the Hero - Pacific Myth

IronGiant
June 25th 2014


1544 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

havent written a review in a long time but though this one would be a great comeback write-up. here's my take on Kanye's most recent output. feedback is always appreciated, hope you guys like.

kount
June 25th 2014


1279 Comments


this comeback review is awful where is the album cover even on this cd?

IronGiant
June 25th 2014


1544 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

mind offering some feedback then if you didnt like it? and I'm gonna assume youre serious, but the album was produced without a cover. it's Kanye's "rejection of commercialism" and supposed to prove he doesn't need any additional packaging or help to sell his records other than his own merit and name

thestop5
June 25th 2014


127 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

The album feels quite rushed. There's a decline in lyricism when compared to MBDTF.

ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
June 25th 2014


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Because this needed another review, lol. But it's well-written, I'll give it that. Pos.

IronGiant
June 25th 2014


1544 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

definitely and I bring that up. MBDTF felt more serious than this. Yeezus is Kanye at his most confident while MBDTF showed Kanye at his most serious about his craft

IronGiant
June 25th 2014


1544 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah I just wanted to put out my take on the album. A lot of people are too radical with the album. either it's the best thing he's ever put out or the worst. i just wanted my review to show some of the gray area in between. thanks for reading and liking it though Explosive Oranges, I appreciate it

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
June 25th 2014


15748 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"either it's the best thing he's ever put out"



haven't heard that one yet

IronGiant
June 25th 2014


1544 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

maybe it's just the people I've talked to speficially but you get what I'm saying Calc haha

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
June 25th 2014


15748 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I do cuz I've heard it now =)

YakNips
June 25th 2014


18936 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

lol

demigod!
June 25th 2014


49220 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fuck you yak this is so good



REALIZE IT

Gwynsalt
June 25th 2014


204 Comments


not enough whiny rhymes about suicide 0/10 beats 10/10 tho

YakNips
June 25th 2014


18936 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

oh fuck man you went where no sput user has gone before!

demigod!
June 25th 2014


49220 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

listen harder

Gwynsalt
June 25th 2014


204 Comments


no mercy

YakNips
June 25th 2014


18936 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

i havent jammed in months i dont really want to at all



but i will 4 u

DatBeefPudding
June 26th 2014


1858 Comments


i dont think i can handle any more "confidence" from this guy

IronGiant
June 26th 2014


1544 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah a lot of people, but you have to at least have a shred of respect for him that he's been able to make it this far in light of all his character flaws. he goes against logic by perpetually being successful despite everything against him



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