Kanye West
Late Orchestration


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mr. Lean Mug USER (112 Reviews)
June 30th, 2006 | 22 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist


Kanye West is an ambitious thinker. Fortunately, he has an ego roughly the size of Jupiter to match such thoughts. While Kanye as a rapper may not be the best in the business, he�s certainly the boldest. Of course, boldness oftentimes breeds vanity. Colloquially, vanity is said to be in the name of teenage girls. Well, said young women have nothing on Mr. West. Interestingly enough, Kanye has plenty of teenagers of both genders falling over his feet at any given time. Well, that�s mostly because he isn�t afraid to try new things. His latest studio release, 2005�s Late Registration, has been critically acclaimed as being one of the best hip-hop albums (or albums period) of the 21st century. I�m not one to refute this (to an extent), because I�m a fan of Mr. West�s. Still, there was no doubting that Late Registration had quite a few flaws. Well, actually only one flaw, but oh what a flaw it was: filler. Kanye�s sophomore release was full of it. Now, Kanye, being a progressive-minded kind of guy, decided he would do something interesting with Late Registration. He decided to throw a private concert for three hundred of his best friends, featuring a full orchestra, and containing not only tracks from Late Registration, but from Kanye�s first release, The College Dropout, too. Oh yeah, that�s ambition all right.

Late Orchestration was recorded on September 21st, 2005 at Abby Road Studios of Beatles fame, in the United Kingdom. An all-female, seventeen piece orchestra was compiled to play any and all music required for Kanye�s set. In addition to West himself, the show featured guest performers the likes of John Legend, Lupe Fiasco, and GLC. Late Orchestra was viewed only by personally invited guests (as previously mentioned in a more sarcastic light, three hundred or so) and a few lucky fans. As a fan, I�m insanely jealous of those three hundred people. As a reviewer, I�m insanely jealous of those three hundred people. Yes, the concert that would become Late Orchestration is that good.

Everything about Late Orchestration is impressive. Especially the live sound. Since the album was recorded in a small venue, you would expect the sound quality to be near studio level. This is far from true, though: the album is distinctly live. However, this is hardly a detraction. The album�s setting is intoxicating, and helps immerse you further in the music than you ever thought possible. With the help of the orchestra, even slightly dull Kanye tracks like �Diamonds From Sierra Leone� have new life breathed into them. Speaking of the orchestration, its top-notch. Brass, woodwinds, strings, the whole package, dear reader, the whole package. Who would have thought that hip-hop could be so beautiful? Certainly not rough and tumble rappers like those of NWA or Black Moon. This, of course, is yet another fantastic example of Kanye�s intelligence and brilliant intuitive vision.

For all of its musical beauty, however, Late Orchestration retains plenty of natural grittiness. Profane lyrics of drug-laden and sexually explicit content still escape the lips of Kanye and his cohorts. Still, the rapping on Late Orchestration is, as one would expect it to be, very impressive.

As you may expect, every artist that performs on Late Orchestration sounds a little different than their studio efforts. Actually, that�s not true. You could really only apply that to the young Kanye prot�g�, Lupe Fiasco. The aspiring rapper has his own verse in the Late Registration hit �Touch the Sky.� The same is true on Late Orchestration. Unfortunately, young Lupe�s voice doesn�t quite hold out for him, and he comes off sounding like a prepubescent MC in the vein of Lil Romeo (okay, maybe not that bad). Other than a little bit of a �fiasco� with a small portion of the vocals, the wordplay is fantastic. Kanye, in particular, is the shining star of the story. I mean, he wouldn�t have it any other way, even if his performance was horrible, but Kanye seriously elevates himself above anything else. Past the music, past the crowd, past his guests, Kanye ascends through the ranks to take his place on the Late Orchestration throne.

Speaking of crowds, Kanye sure knows how to work one. Take his evoking of a chant of �Hell Yeah!� from his spectators on �Through the Wire,� for example: Kanye proves to be a commanding maestro, conducting his orchestra by way of stage presence and sheer charisma. Kanye�s larger than life personality pours out all over his performance, and believe me, it�s quite a good thing. Everything works together in fantastic sync, from the magnificent rendition of the debauched �Crack Music,� to the angst-ridden anthem of �Jesus Walks,� and everything in between. Late Orchestration is an extraordinarily polished album.

The only real complaint that I could scrounge up and direct towards Late Orchestration is the exclusion of �We Major� of Late Registration. Personally, I believe that of all of Kanye�s songs, �We Major� would be best suited for the environment in which Late Orchestration was presented. However, this, much like Lupe Fiasco�s vocal woes, are hardly real complaints that I can draw against Late Orchestration. I mean, it even has bonus content: an AOL-recorded live version of the wildly popular �Gold Digger,� edited for a massive audience�s listening pleasure.

With this live release, Kanye West seems to have broken down all the barriers that were containing him. On Late Orchestration Kanye has taken all of his greatest triumphs, meshed them with superb music, and (finally; thankfully) eliminated all of the filler. He�s shown admirable growth and maturity, even if its on the stage alone. Sure, most of the songs are generally more enjoyable to listen to in their studio-recorded form, but they�re still pretty damn awe-inspiring on Late Orchestration. Kanye West is set to change hip-hop forever, and after hearing this, he has this humble reviewer convinced that he can do it. Let�s just hope he can cut his ego down to the size of an easier to manage planet. Say Saturn, for instance.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
June 30th 2006


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

so basically this is a sweet review.

kanye west IMO is one of the best rappers out there.

Two-Headed Boy
June 30th 2006


4527 Comments


^wut he sed

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
June 30th 2006


16089 Comments


This is a good review. Yeah.
I just don't think he's a very good rapper. Lyrically I find him better than most do, but his delivery isn't to my liking. Pretty damn good producer though, I can see how he would make this work quite well.

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
June 30th 2006


1588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Before even hearing of this album, the idea of Kanye West with an orchestra sounded so tempting. I approached this album with excitement and high expectations. But to be honest, it hasn't quite lived up to them. Some songs work well with the orchestra, but with others I like the studio version far more. I disagree with the rating, but otherwise pretty good review.

so basically this is a sweet review.



kanye west IMO is one of the best rappers out there

Best rapper? No way. But his albums blow most out of the water.


Cygnus Inter Anates
June 30th 2006


721 Comments


I don't know of any filler on Late Registration, excluding the skits.

The Jungler
June 30th 2006


4827 Comments


Great job Hep. I really like Kanye, and might look into this.

metallicaman8
June 30th 2006


4677 Comments


Superb review as always, Hep. Although I have a strong hate for Kanye West, he's just so, so damn cocky.

Oddsen
July 1st 2006


1127 Comments


"Bush hates black people" Sorry to bring that up, but I lost alot of respect for him when he said that. You just don't say things like that about people without having any "evidence"

Anyways, great review, I didn't know this exsisted.

The Jungler
July 1st 2006


4827 Comments


Uh, you got the quote wrong, it's "Bush doesn't care about black people".

metallicaman8
July 1st 2006


4677 Comments


Regardless of whether or not he worded it correctly, it was a really dumb thing to say. Bush may be an A-hole, but he certainly isn't a racist.

Bron-Yr-Aur
July 1st 2006


4405 Comments


Meh, you don't know that. It's not lke he's going to address his racial views to the nation.

metallicaman8
July 1st 2006


4677 Comments


Yeah, but if he was really a racist wouldn't it be evident in some of his goverment policies.

Bron-Yr-Aur
July 1st 2006


4405 Comments


Depends, really. He's kind of busy with Iraq and terrorism right now. He really can't afford any risky moves. And blah nice blah review etc. on blah topic.

Oddsen
July 1st 2006


1127 Comments


Sorry, I had a feeling i might have got the quote wrong.

Laafe
July 1st 2006


347 Comments


kanye west is so full of himself. once you get past that, his music is quite good. excellent review. this sounds very interesting.

The Jungler
July 1st 2006


4827 Comments


Hep, do you think you could e-mail me the version of Drive Slow on this (if you haven't deleted it) because I love that song and would like to hear it in this setting.

Sepstrup
July 14th 2006


1563 Comments


Yeah, but if he was really a racist wouldn't it be evident in some of his goverment policies.


A new race-segregation policy might not be a good career move . I might check this out. It sounds interesting. Kanye has some good songs.

deathscreamingsheep
July 14th 2006


86 Comments


I'll have to check this out. Kanye is alright I guess, though I prefer other rappers, but still I'm digging the songs I've heard from this album.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2007


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fucking rules

Funeralopolis
March 7th 2012


11591 Comments


said young women have nothing on Kanye West lol.

Digging: Black Milk - If There's a Hell Below



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