Kanye West’s new album leaves much to be desired

Christopher Lopez

Let me set the record straight before anyone reads any further. This is not a full solo release by Kanye West, but rather a collaboration featuring several artists from G.O.O.D. Music and other labels. Kanye appears on a little over half of the 12 tracks. Artists such as Nicki Minaj, Ghostface Killah, R. Kelly, and Ma$e grace this album for a seemingly ambitious release. Even with a star studded line-up and Ye at the helm, this album is possibly Kanye’s most forgettable release yet.

A good number of the songs are a cluttered mess, with West’s rhymes rapping circles around a majority lot of the lineup, with a few welcome exceptions. Verses are unpredictable, transitioning from hard-hitting one-liners to asinine duds the next second. I just feel there was a of room for creative camaraderie that wasn’t taken advantage of. For every lyrical triumph on the album there is at least one failure weighing it down; as a result, the creative integrity suffers as a whole. But what this album lacks in lyrical content is made up for in production value.

The beats are up to par, if not better than many of Kanye’s previous releases. “To the World,” is a beautiful yet bold beginning aimed at Mitt Romney’s low tax rate and inability to supply reasonable amounts for his own tax returns. This track does a great job setting the tone for the rest of the album to the sounds of piano chords, and an aggressive drum line beat. My personal favorite, “New God Flow,” an aggressive brag-rap featuring Raekwon of Wu-Tang Clan done over a head nod-inducing gospel sample mixed with thumping kicks and snares makes for one of the few highlights in “Cruel Summer,” that the album could have used many more of.

The album as a whole is not a complete failure, but a few good tracks shouldn’t be reason enough for people to go running to their local record store to pick this one up. Just don’t get drawn in by all the bells and whistles that accompany this G.O.O.D. Music release, because this one is bound to disappoint hardcore and new Kanye fans alike with its underwhelming verses and idiotic, over-the-top showmanship.


Chris can be reached at: [email protected]