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)