on 13 January 2008
It's an album like this that keep hip-hop going. Without this, the industry would be flooded with Soulja Boy followers. And what's good about this album is that Kanye West is different. He stands out compared to the other rap artists who seem to just want to be like each other. Yes he can have the odd couple of lines on guns. Yes he can spit a few bars on his relationship with hoes. But the way he puts it all together is unique. It's like he knows what his fans expect on his new album. Every song is differet, and you can relate with each one depending on what mood you are in. There's feel good tracks (Champion, Good Life). There's the story-telling ones (Homecoming, Good Morning). And there's the ones that make your head rock, without you even noticing (Stronger, Flashing Lights). There's not one bad track I can mention on this album. The odd couple don't match up to the previously mentioned (Drunk and Hot Girls, Barry Bonds), but they are still listenable. The features are limited, and some dissapointments (T-Pain, although I suprinsingly liked the track he featured on, and Lil' Wayne). But to make up for it you've got Chris Martin, Mos Def and Daft Punk. There is a disappointment though. You don't get the story-telling vibe you did when listening to "The College Dropout" or "Late Registration", as there is no skits and it feels slightly.. empty. But with the effort Kanye put into this album, you can't complain. I don't just recommend you to by it, I urge you to buy it.
on 4 October 2007
A fair bit better than Late registration but not quite up to the standard of College Dropout, Kanye delivers one of the best hip-hop albums to be released in the last 10 years.
Kanye cuts the crap with this album, with no annoying skits every three or four songs this album is a mere 13 tracks long, compared to the 20 odd tracks of the previous albums. Kicking off with the basic Good morning, West sets the tone for the album. Minimilist beats and limited guest appearances, highlighting Kanye's lyrical talent.
The jay-z sample on good morning fits perfectly. The album rolls along nicely (with Champion being a real spirit lifter), coming to stronger, the daft punk sampled hit that i'm sure you have all heard. The next song, i wonder, is classic Kanye west, with him spitting over a soul sample.
Good life sees the first guest appearance on the album, with t-pain singing on the chorus. Akon must have been busy. It's the third single off the album and deservedly so. Next comes Can't Tell Me Nothing, i'm sure you'll have heard that. One of the best tracks on the album in my opinion.
Lil wayne features on Barry Bonds, the purest hip-hop track on the album, but his voice is annoying to me. Drunk and hot girls features mos def and is the most musically experimental track on the album. Mos def sings rather than raps, wich is refreshingly fantastic.
Flashing lights is much like i wonder and dj premier's addiction to everything i am is excellent. The glory is one of the stand out tracks on the album, again showing off Kanye's effective use of sampling, much the same as the college dropout album. Homecoming, as i'm sure you'll know features Chris Martin from Coldplay, a song that has been remastered from when it appeared back in 2004.
Big Brother is, in my opinion, the best song on the album. With lyrics both praising his mentor jay-z and explaining how close the two are, but also how West felt Jay was keeping him at a distance in the early stages of his career. A deep moment for Kanye.
Overall, Graduation is an outstanding album that closely resembles the Dropout. An excelltn product from West, and well worth the wait.
on 4 October 2007
We suffer from banging beats and one-listen hits that last a month then die. Jesus walks - a classic. How many hip hop classics like that are there? This album is packed full of genius and quality. If you are five years old, Stronger and Champion wil appeal to the simplicity in you. If you are forty, they will appeal to the distinguished in you. Each track has the mass appeal with lyrics and beats but beneath you get wisdom, a soul vibe and pure musical genius. I accept this isn't for everbody in the same way that caviar isn't neither is champers. Drink thug rap only if you like. If you like some good juice every now and then, feast my hommies.
on 12 October 2007
Having bought Kanye's 3rd album;Graduation, i get the feeling that he has now moved almost completely away from the Rap genre, and instead like many other views, he has created his own unique category which no other artist can match. He has more creativity than Outkast and a depth of lyrics which shows he has truly mastered his art. Although i'm sure 50 has produced another 'street feel' album, it seems that Mr West has broadened his popularity to reach electro, indy and fans of many other genres who admire his passion, and unique ability to produce records which anyone can enjoy listening to.This is a finely sculpted 3rd album and a must have for any CD collection. Notable tracks include 'Can't tell me nothing', 'Homecoming', 'Goood life' and 'Big Brother'.This is a song which is both dedicated to the way Jay-Z has taken Ye under his wing and guided him, but it also has a dig at the break up of the Roc-A-Fella family and the disenchantment it seemed Kanye had of his master. I've read a few reviews which say the song is poor, and that the synths are boring and that the ending is abrupt, but i completely disagree. It's almost like Kanye is writing a diary and we are listening in on his thoughts. A great insight into the mind of a genius, go out and get it!!!
I loved "Stronger", the first time I heard "Good Life" I hated it, but it is growing on me. I think that is the key to these new style hip-hop/rap albums, they need a while to grow on you.
The instrumental backing tracks are a lot less inventive than in years gone by, but this album does work! I'd push this one long before the disappointing 50 Cent offering, out the same day.
There are some notable tracks for your consideration, "Stronger" and "Good Life", "Homecoming" (which will be a single).
I think the problem with hip-hop is the genre is slipping in quality because the artists get their money so easy, people buy their albums and accept them simply on reputation or as some form of street cred.
This album isn't going to set any records and be recognised as a classic, but it is a worthy attribution to the album releases of 2007.
New style works, Kanye just would like some more heart and interest, seems to be lacking any oomph!
No different to what Snoop was doing ten years or more ago.
But not a complete disappointment!
on 14 September 2007
OK, lets get this into perspective people;
1. Kanye West is still at the top of his game.
2. Graduation is a brilliant album.
3. Change is a good thing.
4. Kanye West is a legend.
Just because this doesn't sound like The College Dropout or Late Registration it does not constitute being a poor album. That's just naivety. Kanye has 'switched the style up' on Graduation - it's fresh, it's innovative and it's bloody great!
I agree that there is no 'Jesus Walks', however, as amazing a song that was, why would you want to buy an album that has not moved on from the last? "Because I enjoyed it" I hear you cry. Well, if you'd just open your mind up a little you might just enjoy this one too. Stop living in the past people!
The best tracks on the album, for me, include 'Champion', the epic 'Stronger', the upbeat 'Good Life', the fierce 'Can't Tell Me Nothing' and, as much as the man is not my cuppa tea (Chris Martin), 'Homecoming' is pure quality. "Flashing Lights", "I Wonder" and "Everything I Am" are classic laid-back Kanye, and contain some genius lyrics.
Every track has something to offer, there is nothing wrong with this album whatsoever. In fact, it is probably one of the best albums I have. Kanye never disappoints and already, I cannot wait for the next album!
To conclude, if you like change you'll like Graduation. It contains some magical tracks and in my opinion, Kanye has worked his genius again.
Kanye reigns supreme!
on 18 September 2007
Placing aside the current 'Kanye vs Fiddy' battle for the no1 spot in the charts, and Kanye's recent 'outburst' at the MTV Music Awards, this review will focus simply on the music!
I am a Kanye West fan, and have been so since the release of Late Registration, which urged me to purchase the College Dropout, and I have been eagerly awaiting this album on the strength of 'Can't Tell me Nothin', and the most recent single 'Stronger'.
The album itself is presented in an attractive cardboard cover art sleeve with an accomanying poster of the album art. There is no tracklist to be found anywhere on the cd or cover, this I feel (although maybe not the case) gives a sort of 'venturing into the unknown' feeling, a feeling of exploring something new, which is exactly what Kanye has managed to accomplish with his most recent offering.
Musically, this is probably Kanye's most deep and daring content to date, challenging styles and boundaries that have rarely been attempted in the past. There is a glaring difference between this album and his previous works, as there are no fillers this time round, just 14 tracks of solid music (including the bonus track 'Goodnight')
Kicking in with 'Good Morning', the album starts us off with an insight into the new style, this time a lot more laid back and meaningful, moving on into 'Champion', a very uplifting nod your head n step song. The beats step up a notch in 'Stronger' with backing from Daft Punk, and the 2nd (I believe) single from the album. Track 4 'I Wonder' returns very deep, beginning 'I wonder if you know what it means to find your dream' and when the beat cuts out and is replaced by orchestral violins, its just a beautiful moment, and ends the 2nd half of this track beautifully. 'Good life' is a great uplifting track, followed by, in my opinion, lyrically and atmospherically the new Jesus Walks. Very atmospheric (I had a dream I could buy my way to heaven, I awoke and spent it on a necklance, told God i'd be back in a second). This was the first single (again I believe!) and after hearing this for the fist time months ago I knew that it was something special. The beat thumps again in Barry Bonds, a great track to get you moving again, which is followed by (and many of you are gonna flame me here, I know it!) one of my favourite tracks on the album, 'Drunk & Hot Girls'. Lyrically amusing with a couple of burst out laughing lines (bla ra ra blu ra thats how the f*ck you sound, you drunk & hot girl) backed by a swaggering, almost drunken, exotic beat. This track leads directly into 'Flashing Lights' a slow electric synth beat of a song, which is equally as brilliant. 'Everything I Am' is a lyrically and musically beautiful piano driven track, with a little scratching for effort. 'The Glory' is another track that will have you humming and nodding your head as you hear it, very uplifting. Ending the album is the outstanding track 'Big Brother' which probably needs no introduction as the track he wrote about his 'big brother' Jay'Z and their sibling rivalry, as well as his utmost respect and admiration for him. The bonus track 'Goodnight' is a good way to end the album, although Big Brother could have ended it perfectly on 'Dont kill this sh*t, shortly before the beat suddenly stops.
There are absolutely no skippable tracks on this album, but again that it just my opinion. I feel that there is enough content on the album so that at least everybody can find at least one track they can relate to. I feel, however, that Kanye has produced a record that will break some boundaries, and bring to the world some of the deepest hip-hop/rap that has been heard in a long while. Where this genre of music is stereotyped, as Kanye actually mentioned in Jesus Walks (you can rap about anything except for Jesus, that means guns, sex, lies, video-tape, but if I talk about God my record won't get played) Kanye takes it in a new direction, and deserves to have a great following for as long as he continues on his pathto bringing the world, well.... something different.
on 10 September 2007
Kanye West has done it again, this album kills it, from the catchy Good Morning, to the wrath of Can't tell me Nothing, each track has its own qualities but my personal faviourite is 'I Wonder' genius.
Good Morning 8/10
I Wonder 10/10
Good Life 9/10
Can't Tell Me Nothing 10/10
Barry Bonds 7/10
Drunk & Hot Girls 7/10
Flashing Lights 9/10
Everything I Am 8/10
The Glory 9/10
Big Brother 10/10
Good Night 7/10
BUY IT! BUY IT ! BUY IT !
on 11 September 2007
I got this album yesterday, and so far it doesn't match with his previous albums, but i remember that Late registration is one that grew on me over time. Because this album is so different from any other hip hop album, you have to listen to this a good few times before you really start to enjoy it.
Stand out tracks for me is Big Brother, Stronger, Good Life, but my favourite so far is the track with Coldplay's Chris Martin, Homecoming. I can see this being a hit if he decides to release it. Give this album a chance, i'm sure it'll become a great hip hop album, but you have to give some albums time to sink in, because they are stretching hip hop further than the way we're used to.
on 12 September 2007
I was expecting a good album, but wasnt expecting this. Kanye easily recaptures the quality of his previous albums. I havnt heard much of the Curtis album by 50 Cent, but from what I've heard, this wins by some way. Some superb collaborations, in particular Homecoming featuring Coldplay's Chris Martin.
Stand out tracks: Champion, Good Life and Homecoming.