Monday, December 13, 2010

Best Albums of 2010, No 7 - Kanye West's My Beautifu Dark Twisted Fantasy

Has there been a more eagerly anticipated, blogged about, loved album this year than Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy? And it's only been out for three weeks!

After the Taylor Swift fiasco, Kanye hunkered down in his Hawaii studios set about his road to redemption. He invited his big brother Jay, and every other manner of person to rhyme/sing on his album. John Legend, Nicki Minaj, Pusha T, Rick Ross, even Bon Iver (which is just bizzare, but works so well).

But it's impossible to seperate that incident from him, and it's impossible to seperate him from his music. The album is intensely personal, fiercely defiant, and at every turn remarakbly brilliant. Where 808s and Heartbreaks was an mess, here Kanye brings back the laser like precision and sonic exploration of Graduation. No Kraftwerk or video game sounds here.

POWER, which might be the most impressive single this year, is dense with chants, hand claps and a thudding bass and gnarling guitar. West has never been in this territory over four albums. All of the Lights stands out for some of the most ornate orchestra (Violins! French Horns! Drum Circles!). Even his return to sped up soul samples with Devil in a New Dress (Mayfield!!!) seems less about his talent behind the board than behind the mic. He's raw here opening up and letting every emotion out ("She says she loves me for me, could you be more phony?"). West out raps virtually everyone who comes to play on this album (though Minaj's Monster line proves she's got something to say. Pink Friday proves it's just not much).

For a man with an ego as outsized as Kanye West, MBDTF is that perfect complimentary album. To not like Kanye West cos of who or what he does misses the point. He's back to making some of the most interesting music out.

Buy Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy at Amazon mp3 Store

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