By: Philip Moreno
Mega stars rarely take risks. Or, they rarely take anything but perfected calculated major label approved risks. Huge stars and record companies know what sells. That’s why there is a “sound”associated with artists like Mumford and Son, Coldplay, and Lil Wayne. Hell, even Justin Bieber and all of the new British Boy “Bands” know there is a formula to the way they can make a platinum album. That’s whats wrong with today’s popular music: Artists forgetting how they made it big or even (and more egregiously) why they choose to in the beginning.
That has never been the case for Mr. West. Since producing beats for his idol Jay Z, Kanye has never once forgotten how or why he got to where he is today. He is by far one of the more controversial, anticipated, inspired artist working in any genre of music today. How long ago did we really know he was for sure putting out a new album? About 14 days. Up until about 10 days ago the title “Yeezus” was not even confirmed. The track listing, was not even released until last Friday when the album itself leaked onto the ether knows as the internet. He did little media promotion (save for a tour DE force two song performance on SNL about a month ago.) The multi-city large projection showing of the first song released from the album “New Slaves” was brilliant. Everything leading up to the albums release was done with an “I don’t care what you think” attitude. This is MY music and I will release it MY way.
The album itself is brilliantly produced. While recorded for the most part in Paris, Mr. West then took what he had done to uber-producer/musical Yoda Rick Ruban; who reportedly stripped it down to what we hear today. I, for one, am curious as to what the hell he took off. It sounds like everything but the kitchen sink is used on this album. Take the song “Blood on the Leaves” beginning with a sample from Nina Simone’s version of “Strange Fruit” to the beat drop at about 1:07 with the biggest loudest horn section in a song ever. This song is an audiophiles dream. While listening to this album through headphones is amazing. Trust me; find the loudest system you have and blast this thing. Songs like “Black Skinhead” , “Blood on the Flowers”, New Slaves” and “I am a God” need to be heard loud.
His delivery has never been better. The production has never been this raw and drum heavy. The entire tone of the album is the darkest he has ever been, Yet, there is a sense of humor to the album that is just under the surface. Yes he talks about and says some horrible things, but will someone please just give him a damn croissant already! Even if you are not a fan of this genre, this album wont and can’t be denied for the greatness it is. Thanks Kanye, you have out done yourself again. The best part is you did it under your terms and for that I am forever grateful for you not compromising and bringing the album you wanted to the world.
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