Album Review- Kanye West- My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Now this is going to be a long one because I feel the need to explain my thought process more in depth in this review because Ye is the most high profile artist to have an album slated for the fourth quarter even though Nicki Minaj and T.I. are both slated for release. Now We should have all seen the runaway mini-movie by now, and we know that Kanye is ultimately an artist and sometimes artistry is misconstrued, and sometimes it misses its mark in addition to having those flashes of brilliance. For me, this album pretty much sums all of that up, though the misses aren't as glaring. The early opinion has been that this is a borderline classic, I would say those ideas are just a bit off.

The album kicks off with "Dark Fantasy" and this is a brilliantly produced track and the intro from Nicki Minaj could set a real tone for the album had it continued but it feels out of place eventually because we don't come back to it. Lyrics and track solid and set things off to a good start for Kanyeezy. "Gorgeous" follows and Kanye raps through distortions and I have to assume that the lyrics are talking about his current life, though the hook and the verses don't give me too much of a clue as to why this is the title of the song. The hook by the way is Kid Cudi and the song also features a verse from Raekwon. Now Ye's verses are actually slick and he takes a shot back at South Park for the 'Gay Fish' episode but looking at the song and the hook they don't really equate.

"Power" which everyone has heard is next, and other songs which by now should be very familiar are "Monster" with Jay-z, Nicki Minaj and Rick Ross, "So Appalled" with Swizz Beats, Jay-Z, Pusha T, Cyhi The Prince, and The Rza on their 'swag talk' thing, and the latest single, "Runaway" also with Pusha T. "All of The Lights" which leaked sometime last week, has a bunch of people on it but I have to question why because none of them stand out or bring anything individual to the song and it doesn't have any real catch to it other than being a perfectly fine regular song that will get massive spins. That might be point enough.

People love "Devil in a new Dress" though I'm inclined to be less impressed with that than Runaway which also let me down. This album version has Rick Ross and the soul sample is straight up core Kanye. "Hell of a Life" is similar, a solid track, nothing spectacular in the verses and he grabs that damn auto tune again. "Blame Game" is a relationship song with John Legend, the beat is a simple piano riff but it works well, and Kanye plays both sides of the field in the second verse which pans from left to right to signify the different persons part of the conversation which is something unique. Chris Rock also drops in with a interlude of sorts after the sing which is quite humorous. The album is a down note on the end with "Lost in the World" which sounds like some more leftover garbage from 808's and Heartbreaks. Once again, he uses sick drum patterns but the auto tuning is just so lame and Kanye should have never touched it.

Now that is the individual musical breakdown, but overall the songs by alone could be solid. My biggest problem is that it's a big artistic idea without the full execution. Simply put, adding more Nicki Minaj previews to some songs and changing the track order could have made this into the 'story' I was expecting from the way it started out. Understandably, there will be songs that don't fit into the idea of a dark fantasy for sales reasons but most of these don't actually do anything that is out of the norm. He has like 4 or 5 songs about relationships that are literally run of the mill, the grand imagery I was expecting to be painted through his lyrics isn't there and that is a shame. The album is not cohesive enough to be a classic. How do So Appalled and Monster fit in with the theme of the album? They don't and if this was someone other than Kanye it probably wouldn't be an issue but this is a person who wants to be seen as an artist above all and it just doesn't seem well-executed for someone of his ability.

Now Kanye does do some positive things as far as the album creation. This is not a 'single' friendly album because for the most part, he has just created songs, most of them are well above average and they aren't cut down for the sake of commerciality and he might be the only person who can do that. Several of them are very long and focused on being complete compositions so i can respect that. I can also respect the attempt to do something big. Production as usual is top notch and I would love for Kanye to do some movie scores. What I would have liked to see for this to really represent a 'dark' type fantasy would have been to hear something light juxtaposed with a darker theme on a song or two, or have the light background music and have Nicki move the story along because when this was announced as the title of the album and then the video came out, thats just what I pictured what would happen, so some of my disappointment is my own fault. Let me sum it up this way, this rating isn't a reflection of the songs themselves as much as it is of them as a unified album which I just don't see.

Rating: 3.5/5


  1. Your reviews of any of these albums are seriously skewed. If you are going to comment on such great works of art, create something first, and be on the same artistic level as Yeezy or Drizzy to even criticize any of their works. Its easy sitting down behind a screen and comment on what is right and what " dissapoints" you, than to actually make music. So be a little less opinionated and be open to new things. Hip-Hop and Rap have changed, and you should let go of your want to hear "Jeezy" on every track, and start to accept artist like Drake, as it is what hip hop has evolved to. No one can relate to street rap anymore.

  2. If you read most of my reviews, I'm not a jeezy fan yet I would doubt the validity of your claim no one wants to hear street rap being as though Jeezy just tripled the sales of Common and Ross is one of the biggest artists out and his rap is decidedly street. As someone who is expected to consume this music or art, I have a right to express my opinion of it and not blindly shovel it into my brain and nod happily because you so called decide to create something. Some people will call 2 Chainz or Jeezy better than Kanye on an artistic level and so who is to say I haven't created something as great as either of them? People who listen or read my work and are critics like I am.

    No how about you become more opinionated and encourage others to be the same. Your assessment that I am not open to new things is without merit. It's just as easy to come and criticize me for an opinion as it is for me to criticize an album so by even commenting you're doing the same as me and making yourself a hypocrite. Open yourself to new opinions and maybe take a review of some of the things I have brought up and speak specifically on where you agree or disagree.


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