Monday, November 24, 2008


I'm trying my best to wrap my head around what Kanye West set out to do with 808s and Heartbreak.

It's clear that Kanye is going through some stuff. He lost his mama. He had that weird assualt thing at LAX. His long-time fiance (two words that make most women mad) broke it off with him. And up to this point, he's released relatively flawless albums that have garnered critical acclaim, sold bazillions of copies, but been denied a Grammy for album of the year (last year was probably the worst, losing to Herbie Hancock's Joni Mitchell tribute).

Normally from this adversity, he releases a masterpiece. He got balled up in the car accident, he dropped College Dropout. Denied the Grammy, he worked doubly hard and put out Late Registration. And in an effort to top that album, he put out the skit free top, 10 perfection that was Graduation.

And with a ton of problems at his back, he releases his most personal album to date.

And it's garbage.

The whole thing. I don't think there's one salvagable song on here.

The beats are sparse and haunting, an theme that is intrguing in song one, tiresome by song two, and annoying by song three. It's like sad Daft Punk.

But if the beats don't get to you, it's the mindless singing through AutoTune. Kanye does almost no rapping on this album (I know, a God send to some who are perpetual haters on the man's rhyming ability). The problem with Auto Tune is that it flattens your voice out to the point it begins to sound unpleasant. T-Pain's a novelty act, and Lil Wayne is probably the only cat who really succeeds at screwing with the thing. Kanye just sounds horrible.

I don't think there's any need to get deep about Kanye's intention. No, I don't think him using autotune is some sort of critique on consumer automation. I know Kanye could have made a much better album that still got at his personal feelings and turmoil. Hell, he did just as much with Late Registration.

This album just plain sucks.

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