That’s right Kanye! You aren’t the only mammer-jammer who can make a sexy video! — First Edit without the driving scenes here!
What a TSURUFOTO-tastic weekend! Holy crap! 4, count ’em, 4 photoshoots! Two with Tyler & Meiko (the results of the first one can be seen above in our first foray into videoeoeos). And then a 2nd shoot in the morning and 2 more on Sunday for our soon-to-be award winning seires / calendar oiseaux retros de tsurufoto!
Hot damn, eh?
Been crazy, but not nearly as crazy as the intertubals have been with the leak/release of Kanye West’s new album…
To ignore this album would be wrong. I’m no fan of the raps, but I am a fan of music and pop culture and etc. According to Kanye, this is possibly the most important album of the year/decade/existence of all music. It only seems fair that we listen & discuss the whole album, together, organically, and share our inner-most thinkerins, right? So, here we go! Let’s push play and see what the good
lord Kanye giveth, and what we taketh away….
1. “Dark Fantasy”
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.. So, Kanye eshews de rigeurs of an obligatory “Intro” bit to the traditional rap album, instead puts out a somewhat anti-climatic song to lead us off. The rap & the rhythm is smooth and the singing (Kanye’s) is off but I kinda like that fact, using the auto-tune for the chorus bits… One track down and I’m left intrigued!
2. “Gorgeous” (featuring Kid Cudi & Raekwon)
A repetious retro-guitar is running the show along with some lo-fi-styled vocaled rap. He’s singing about himself & hip-hop, it’s very “me-centric”, but it’s Kanye so you don’t worry about it. Musically, it’s still pretty chill, and the chorus sounds like a bunch of guys who shouldn’t be singing choruses singing a chorus. This one is pretty meh. On 2nd thought, as this is a long one, yeah, the “me-centric” part is starting to get old on this one. Ready for “POWER”.
3. “Power” (featuring Dwele)
Oh yeah, we are bringing the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack feel on this one. Was this pulled from some battle-related period piece? Not bad! Oh shit… did he just sample King Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man”???? Okay, you just got an extra star on that…. But note to Kanye, if you want critics to love you, do NOT go prog. Critics do not like prog. Period.
Back to the song… pretty good! Powerful & moody, but yeah, gives you visions of something grand, battlefields, wars, etc. Nice.
4. “All of the Lights” (Interlude)
Oh no, is this a ballad? Oh, it’s a pretty interlude. Sorry.
5. “All of the Lights”
Here we go, bay-beh. If you removed the beat, you have a pretty basic Top 40 radio song, something VH1 would play the video of starring whoever the guest female vocal is, all morning long – do they still do morning videos? But you can’t remove the high-pitched beat and it’s the curve ball to an otherwise okay song, bay-beh. Oh wait, we are on the bridge now, bay-beh. Nevermind, back to the song, but a miminaled version with a woo-woo in the background. Yeah, okay, bay-beh, it’s alright now, bay-beh, let’s turn up the lights now, bay-beh, and get on with track 6…
6. “Monster” (featuring Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj & Bon Iver)
Monster, and my ipod says that Bon Iver is on this, as well as Jay-Z, and other famous people. I think we are back on a me-centric song, I think. It ain’t easy being Kaney, apparently. Okay… I can see people thing this song is their jam. I can see people playing this in the car on the way to or from “the club” sing along, emphasizing “mother-fuckin'” every time someone says it, etc. But meh. Even Jay-Z (yeah, I recognize his voice) is bitching about his own creations. ugh. This song would’ve been better if Flight Of The Conchords had performed it. Damn it, 1 and 1/2 minutes to go?? Moving on…
7. “So Appalled” (featuring Jay-Z, Pusha T, Prynce Cy Hi, Swizz Beatz & The RZA)
Oh wait, I’ve heard this ree-dick-kull-less song before. I think I gave this a 1/2 wheelie or something…. God, I’m sorry, I’ve got to move on. Ree-dick-kull-less indeed.
8. “Devil in a New Dress” (featuring Rick Ross)
Unh! Unh! I hear some vinyl snap, crackle, pop, this could be something. Sweet sampling action going on here. I like it when Kanye actually sings, it’s so flawed & childish, I love it. I like this song. I’m not a big fan of the current rap over someone singing, everyone mixed up nice and loud, thing going on these days, but if you are going to do it, this is the way to do it… This song is rough, off, and I like it.
Making our way, already to track nine, the one with that ree-dick-kull-less music video / mini-movie. Okay, I forgot what the song sounds like and without any visuals, it’s just me and my brain. Here we go….
Ooo… nice start! LOL, have a toast for douchebags? Love it. For the jerk-offs even? Nice! Okay, I officially love this song. Yeah, it’s still me-centric, but it’s the way it should be, not just how hard it is to be so god-damn awesome, but about him when you bust down those ree-dick-kull-less-lee over-compensating shells & bravados he puts up.
I could be completely wrong, but this sounds like the real Kanye, the one he never puts out on twitter. The one that uses lower-case letters…
Yeah, I love this song. I kinda don’t want to move on to track 10. Fortunately, I got a 2 minute instrumental ending going on.
10. “Hell of a Life”
Pretty cool, ee-lectronic retro-y kinda goodness about pussy & religion. Sure, why not? I’m in! A bit over the top over the end with the cliche choir add, but still, pretty tight!
11. “Blame Game” (featuring John Legend)
Ipod says Legend is on this one and hey, sure enough, there’s the piano & breathy vocals. “I’ll call you bitch, for short”? Huh? Interesting. Sometimes I feel like Kanye’s got a South Park-like obsession with dropping cuss words, almost feeling forced sometimes, but over 11 tracks (so far), I think I’m beginning to see that’s just how he rolls. Alright, now they got some guy in a pitch-modified voice — is that Kanye? — bouncing from left to right to left to right ear, jibber-jabbering about or to some girl.
12. “Lost in the World” (featuring Bon Iver)
Auto-tune. I got to tell you, I’m reeeeeally starting to hate auto-tune, even when it’s done so prettily as it is here on the intro to this song. Seriously, it’s beautiful but I’m over it. That’s wrong to think, of course, a tool is a tool is a tool and using the tool, regardless of the popularity of it to achieve a desired effect, as long as artistic integrity is held in check, should never be rebuked but here I am, being a hypocrite, even on a song I’m enjoying, wishing beyond wishing that Bon Iver would’ve just sang the fucking intro normal style…………
13. “Who Will Survive in America”
The end, here we are, interesting trip we took today, it had it’s up and it’s downs, but as it is in today’s musicsphere, a Kanye West album is an event, even if it’s only an event because he thinks it’s an event and by me, reviewing it now, I’m only adding to the pile of ego.
Is it a good or bad album? Depends on who’s listening and what your expectations are. I imagine this will be a polarizing album though as Kanye is a polarizing person. Most everyone, myself included, have an opinion of him which is an odd thing when you think about it.
Even with all his PR crap, his own tweets, his albums & rants & etc, we still only “know” about 1% of Kanye and it’s that 1% we judge the other 99… Human nature I suppose. But, (ir)regardless, it seems fitting I should let Kanye have the last word, so with this and with that, cheers! T.