This is the review from yesterday I didn’t actually post:
Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
It’s pretty safe to say Kanye’s been though the lowest point in his career. There was the VMA’s incident, the resulting meme, being called a jackass by the President and, maybe even worse, being called a gay fish by the writers of South Park. By the first half of this year, Kanye had quietly retreated from the public eye, and not too many people missed him. After having dropped off the map, though, what he’s returned with is a reminder of why we should have - an epic 70 minute journey into his beautiful, dark, twisted psyche.
Really, Kanye isn’t inviting us inside so much as he’s exploring himself and allowing us to come along for the ride. As Kanye digs into himself, battling between his self images as an Olympian god or a lonely pop idol, he also revisits and expands upon the different styles he’s acquired throughout his career. Fantasy returns to the frequent sampling of his earlier albums, but on a completely new level, with West trying such eclectic combinations as King Crimson mixed with a gospel choir, or Bon Iver with a diverse medley of beats, melodies and samples. Sometimes the mix of musical selections don’t seem like they should work, but Kanye always finds a way to hold it all together, and he’s clearly got great taste.
The minimalist elements and heartbroken themes of 808s are here too, but most of the album’s more introspective moments are handled with welcome self deprecating humor, and less self pity. Another welcome element are the actual instruments Kanye’s starting to record and compose for, rather than using synthesized material. In terms of instrumentalists and guests artists, this is Kanye’s largest effort so far, and it shows. Between the samples, the string arrangements and consistently great beats, this is some of the richest, most complex and wonderfully discordant music Kanye’s ever produced. It really goes to show that, even if Kanye may not change his ways any time soon, he’s at least expanding his horizons. Say what you will about Kanye West, but at least acknowledge what he is - talented. Sure, the guy can be a douche sometimes. But in a scene that’s allowed itself to stagnate for far too long, he’s a douche that refuses to stop evolving as an artist and who’s never afraid to challenge his listeners. As far as I’m concerned, that’s really the best thing we can ask for in a musician.
As a final thought, I thought I’d quote what is probably my favorite line of the entire album: “Too many Urkels on your team, that’s why your wins low”. I don’t care of you hate every other note, word or beat of this. That is just an epic win.