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Kanye West:  “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” [Album Review]

A lot has happened to Kanye West since the release of his last album 808 & Heartbreaks. While becoming public enemy number one after embarrassing America’s sweetheart, Ye took advice from fellow label mate Mos Def and left the country, not only to get himself together but to work on a new album as well.

Ye needed a reinvention and had to show us he was stronger not only as an artist but as a person as well.  This strength is shown in his newest album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

Kanye’s album seems to be theatrical throughout the whole time it’s being played, and one major element that amalgamates this idea is the rich production that brings dramatic horns and powerful synthesizers.  From the opening track “Dark Fantasy,” the combination of a British voiced commentary from Nick Minaj and the heavy horns and singers that accompany her, give an audio visual of why the album made so much sense to be made into a short film.  As the album continues you see these characteristics in other songs like “All Of The Lights,” which in my opinion is a real stand out song on the album.

Known as the Michael Jackson dedication song from Kanye’s short film “Runaway,” the track features so many different artists, that the CD can’t even list them all.  However, one stand out feature on the track is Rihanna, who compliments the bouncy percussion and weighty horn track with her vocals that remind you of the same effect she had on T.I.’s “Live Your Life.”  Although they may be both instrumental and lyrically amazing, these aren’t the only kind of tracks on the album, as Kanye gives us a variety of music to satisfy many different breed of music lovers.

Kanye chooses the G.O.O.D. music Friday tracks of “Monster,” “So Appalled,” and “Devil In a New Dress,” that takes a break from Kanye’s emotional lyrics, and showcases why College Dropout and Late Registration were so cherished to us.  With his sharp lyrics and production, these three songs alone give us all sorts of quotable lyrics, including an honorable mention of Minaj’s verse from “Monster” that has completely changed the way people look at her as an emcee.

Although Ye shows off what might be his best lyrical performance since Late Registration, the Chi-town MC  continues his multiplicity of music flavor with songs like “Lost In The World,” which may be Ye’s stand out club track and first experimental dance song.

The heavy synth driven “Hell Of A Life,” features Ye on one of the only tracks without a feature spitting some real compelling bars that overshadow the slightly cheesy Iron man melody, and “Gorgeous” which features such a brawny electric guitar riff that fits Cudi’s vocals so well, you could easily see it being on Kid Cudi’s new album.

Overall, the album is one of the best albums of the year as Kanye has gone back to his roots and has focused on the witty, comical, and prevailing lyrics that were not completely there in 808’s.  Although Ye could have axed some of the features and at times seem to just be rambling with his auto-tune, this is the perfect example of what you would want a Hip-Hop album to be.

Personal and powerful lyrics show that Kanye was more focused than he has been in awhile, resulting in him putting his heart into the process of making this album.  Although there may have been a series of unfortunate events leading up to the album, I guess “what doesn’t kill Ye, makes him stronger,” and without it, we wouldn’t have possibly one of if not the best main stream Hip-Hop albums of the year.