Kanye Album Review

So after the long wait for a new Kanye West album we were graced with Pablo. This review comes essentially a week after the album was dropped on Tidal a little late but with this album a few listen’s does not suffice for this. In the last week I have listened to the album front to back about 20 times. I have also listened to several songs on an individual basis by themselves. In this blog post I will go song by song then at the end give an overall look at the album and a grade for the album. Click the album artwork to jump to the Tidal stream of the album.

  • Ultralight Beam– This song was a tough one to wrap my head around as it has a gospel theme and has deeper meaning as Ye is going deeper on social issues then he has in the past. It is amazing seeing him progress from the College Dropout to this. He is now a married father and this song shows his change as blatantly as any other. Overall a song you can listen to over and over again, a true hit.
  • Father Stretch my hand pt.1/pt.2– I am combining these two, Part 2 is better than Part 1 but Metro Boomin beats lift the songs up. Another song where Kanye is showing his progression as an artist. But not a hit, this one as a whole is a miss.
  • Famous– This one is another that listened to on repeat as it is a more typical rap song. The controversy on this song with the Taylor Swift bit is golden, typical Ye stirring the pot. Rhianna has a good bit as well. This song would make the radio charts but with the Taylor bit it kills the radio outlook. But it makes the track, This one is gold.
  • Feedback– Good production from Mr.West here, this is a good pump up track. But this song feels like it is missing something, might be missing a beat.
  • Low Lights– More gospel feel to this, it works though with the underlying production. Good track but this album bounces back and forth with its identity. Guess that is what happens after the album is changed so many times before release.
  • Highlights– Auto-tune Kanye here at its finest. This is vintage Kanye from the past, not sure if that is a good thing. This album does have something for everyone to like.
  • Free Style 4– This one actually sounds like a Kanye freestyle, different look but it works again.
  • I love Kanye- This track makes me laugh out loud, its great. He makes fun of how he is perceived and how others copy what he has done. Short but one of the best things on this album
  • Waves– This is the song that delayed the release by 1 day because Chance wanted this on the album. A version of this has been circulating around for a while, but I am glad Chance put it on because it is one of the best tracks on the album. Matter of fact Chances appearances in this album have been stellar. Waves is golden and will be one of the bigger hits in the entire album.
  • FML– Shocked Ye used the Weekend on the hook but it works really well. FML is good and the production is back to top notch. This is another hit that will get radio play.
  • Real Friends– Kanye put some of the Good Friday releases on this album and this is the first one. Real friends is good and is a look behind the curtain songs. Interesting how he put it on the album, Then again he added 6+ songs at the last second.
  • Wolves– Love some of the beats on this track but left feeling like something is missing. Wanted it to go in a direction similar to Yeezus right here and this would be electric. Feels under-produced.
  • 30 Hours– Another song that was released prior to the album, one of the best tracks and deserves appreciation. This is a song that you can listen to even if you aren’t a fan of the album. Solid work right here.
  • No More Parties in LA– This song was released prior too, love the samples in this track. Like the Kendrick collab on this. Samples make this a solid track.
  • Facts– Here we go Kanye is back with the cocky attitude, I love this side of him the I am the best attitude that made him who he is. Great song for Kanye showing he is still the rapper that made it to the top.
  • Fade– Good samples again here as it is what Kanye is known for, back to the Kanye auto-tune roots. Party music type of track that will light the clubs on fire.

So overall this album has had so many versions that the identity of the album and its total purpose isn’t clear. But Kanye has changed, is it for the better? I am not sure, but what I do know that even with the identity crisis that is here I think it is a greatest hits album where he has taken a track type from each of his albums and made songs like them and combined it into one album. This album however makes me wanting more and a few songs lacked some mojo. All that being said it is a work of art, Kanye really showed why he is the most influential artist in our generation with this. He is the Pablo Picasso of rap and this album will be misunderstood by many and under appreciated by most. But this is the type of album that we will all look back on and say “this is what changed the game”. Kanye has set the bar high, Drake will have a project release soon and it will be hard to follow up Kanye this year. Ye and Kendrick are truly the best rappers right now, but we will see how this album holds up against other albums that will be released this year.

Album Grade: 9/10

Next album review will be Futures EVOL

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Originally published at trifectanetworkblog.wordpress.com on February 19, 2016.