CD Review: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy [2010]

Rapper: Kanye West
Release: 11/2010
Label: Roc-A-Fella

1. “Dark Fantasy” – A+
2. “Gorgeous” – A
3. “Power” – A+
4. + 5. “All Of The Lights (Interlude)/All Of The Lights” – A-
6. “Monster” – A-
7. “So Appalled” – A
8. “Devil In A New Dress” – A
9. “Runaway” – A-
10. “Hell of a Life” – B+
11. “Blame Game” – B+
12. “Lost in the World” – B
13. “Who Will Survive in America” – B-

Comments: My history with listening to Kanye West is brief and to the point.  I bought The College Dropout in the summer of 2004. I really loved that album. It’s still pretty great. After that, I fell out of touch with West, not necessarily because he was gaining fame or anything (no such ‘indie’ mindset for a thirteen year old), but because…well, I don’t know. This album, along with man himself, has received a lot more hype in the past few months than I can ever recall before. Initial reviews have near universally dubbed this one of the best pop albums of all time. “Dark Fantasy” certainly gives these claims some validity. The beat. The lyrics. The chorus of “Can we get much higher?” is something that is overwhelmingly more luscious and “bigger” than most of the shit that gets played on Top 40 radio today. I think “Power” is one of the best songs of the year. I must say this was looking like something special by the end of “Power,” but ultimately fails to keep up that pace. He didn’t fail to jot down his thoughts on paper and get a bunch of great guests to spot on this record. As an all-encompassing work of art, this kind of album will be hard to surpass. To put it simply, it doesn’t (through-and-through because as I’ve mentioned there are some ace tracks) sound as great as it looks on Wikipedia. Realistically a top 30 album of the year. Top 10 or top 5? Definitely not.

Grade: A- (90)

Song of the Day: “Erase Me”

KiD CuDi, one of my favorite mainstreamers of the day, will be releasing his second LP Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager on November 9! If you search back in the archives, you’ll notice that I highly rated CuDi’s debut record. Great stuff. So maybe to the chagrin of many of KLYAM’s loyal followers, I am posting the music video to “Erase Me”! McLovin is in it, by the way.

CD Review: Man on the Moon: The End of Day

Rapper: Kid Cudi
Label: Dream On
Release: 2009

Act I: The End of Day
1. “In My Dreams” – 8.7
2. “Soundtrack 2 My Life” – 9.1
3. “Simple As”9.5

Act II: Rise of the Night Terrors
4. “Solo Dolo” – 9.4
5. “Heart of a Lion” – 9.2
6. “My World”9.5

Act III: Taking a Trip
7. “Day N’ Nite”9.6
8. “Sky Might Fall” – 9.0
9. “Enter Galactic” – 8.4

Act IV: Stuck
10. “Alive”9.8
11. “Cudi Zone” – 9.3
12. “Make Her Say” – 8.8
13. “Pursuit of Happiness”9.7

Act V: A New Beginning
14. “Hyyerr” – 8.9
15. “Up Up & Away”9.6

Comments: Woah! That’s right I just decided to review a rap album. This album is more than just rap though. There’s a lot of electro, a lot of psychedelia, and a lot of mainstream hip hop. Cudi does not lack talent. He might just be the top rapper out there today. Emile, who produced four tracks, is really sharp on those tracks. Kanye West failed to meet my expectations, but still is decent on this. The two jams that feature Ratatat are the best in my opinion. Really really awesome. The last track is awesome too.

Final Grade: 9.2