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Music Review: 808’s & Heartbreak

April 30, 2009

I have a friend who is a big Kanye West fan. So it was with him in mind that I started listening to Kanye’s latest album a couple of weeks ago.

I want it to be know that despite my strong dislike of Kanye as a person, I think he does have talent in spades. I really wanted to like this album or at least a couple of songs from it. So I listened to this album all the way through six times before I decided that it had great potential and was a cool project but I just did not like it.

The songs themselves are great with catchy lyrics and beats. There were actually a few, Paranoid and Love Lockdown that made it into my 4* play list so the whole album was not a wash in that regard. It is a pretty big change as far as style from other albums of Kanye’s that I have listened to and to his credit I think that the content of the album was great and that is what got me to listen to it so many times before I made up my mind.

Really what tipped the scales agains the album making it into my good list was that voice effect that has become more and more popular in recent years. I think it can be great as an embellishment but really there was not a pure word uttered until sometime in the seventh song. Now if it was anyone but Kanye I would have said they were covering up for their inability to sing, but since I know that he has ability, I just do not understand the point of it being so prevalent throughout the album.

Overall there are some things that I think would have made this idea better. First I think that it should have been released as an EP. There are enough good songs on here to warrant a release of some kind, but in my view not quite enough to have a solid full album. Sure there have been some hits off of it but those could have been hits off an EP just the same and he still would have been able to have his “personal” project. Also, I wish that he had done the writing and the beats but maybe gotten someone like Justin Timberlake to sing some of the tracks. Like I said before I liked the lyrics and beats of several of the tracks but an outstanding singer would have taken those to the next level.

Pros: Good lyrics to the songs, catchy beats, Kanye West.

Cons: Overuse of vocal effects gets annoying, no huge standout tracks, Kanye West.

Summary: Listen to it a few times, take the tracks you like and pitch the rest.

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