on 27 January 2011
I read reviews of this album before I bought it which said that it was a masterpiece - I can't disagree with that. I know that Kanye West can be his own worst enemy sometimes, but this time the boy done good. The stand-out tracks for me are 'Runaway' and 'Gorgeous', but really there are no turkeys here. I have barely stopped listening to it since I got it. Highly recommended.
on 6 February 2011
I'm usually listening to rock and pop but thought I'd try listening to some hip-hop - and so plumped for this album after reading an intriguing review in Mojo magazine.
I can only describe this album as outstandingly bizzare.
It has some quite beautiful passages of music in it and effortlessly floats along track after track.
Gorgeous harmonies, and amongst all the wonderful bass lines a free prog rock sound bite (21st century Schizoid Man) thrown in for good measure which made me chuckle.
I just can't fault this higgledy piggledy album. I love it.
I'm now a fan and intend to buy Mr West's back catalogue.
I recommend this album to everyone, especially rock fans like me!
on 31 March 2012
It was difficult to keep track of all the hyperbole following the release of this album, with some deeming it the Kid A of the 2010's and others calling it a picasso like masterwork and lets not forget the perfect 10.0 it received from everyones favourite music site pitchfork media. Not being the worlds biggest Kanye fan i was dismisssive of all the hype, assuming the critics had so heavily backed Mr West's pretentiously titled album as an attempt to remain relevant with younger music fans. But that didn't account for the amount of love that was coming from the blogosphere and when my brother (less of a Kanye fan than me) said he'd listened to it and claimed it to be "suprisingy good", i knew i had to take the plunge.
My first spin didn't leave me speechless, but i couldn't deny the obvious quality of the album. The songs were exciting, unpredictable, heck effervescent even, I had a few gripes about some of the audacious orchestral arrangements and some of the lyrical conceit but on the whole i filed it under very good and promptly moved onto listening to nicolas jaar's Space Is Only Noise (the first great record of 2011). A year passed and i revisited a few albums i'd been impressed with but hadn't found the time to immediately listen to again and after playing Halcyon Digest by Deerhunter for the third time i was convinced it was the standout record of 2010. But it suddenly occured to me that i'd overlooked a little known egoist from chicago who's album i'd conveniently chose to avoid listening to since last year, claiming it's excellent production was the only reason i probably enjoyed it in retrospect and i was convinced i wouldn't be dazzled by it a second time round, i enventually played it again a fortnight ago just to make sure ...
Well i've now been officially humbled! it sounded better now than it did when i initially played it, so much so that i had to listen a third time to see just how great it was and the experience was almost magical. The entrancing quiet storm of Devil In A New Dress, the delightful piano motif in Runaway, the collective reverie of Lost In The World, it all sounded great now. No caveats, no disclaimers all the twists and turns featured on this album feel expertly crafted even the Chris Rock skit on blame game feels transcendant. I had to check the personnel kanye enlisted to see who was involved in the making of this daringly ambitious album. I wasn't suprised to see a treasure trove of big name producers behind this RZA, No I.D, Jeff bhasker, but the decision to bring in Bon Iver and Elton John was completely unexpected and wholly inspired.
The highlights were never ending with this beast! Nicki Minaj's schizoid verse on Monster, the gorgeous strings and piano interlude before All Of the Lights, the spoken word poetry of Gil Scott Herron on "Who Will Survive in America". The richness of the tones, the varition in moods make this a thrilling listen from start to finish. If you haven't already realised i'm unashamedly doing one hell of a U-turn on this guy i can't reccommend this album highly enough. I was so impressed by My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy i promptly revisited earlier works like The College Dropout and Late Registration to see if they were much better than i remembered too. They were in case you were wondering, but neither have a patch on this MBDTF. In my opinion it's the undisputed pinnacle of 21st century Hip Hop and it's unlikely to topped by anyone (Kanye included) anytime soon.
on 23 January 2016
This album is the best album kanye west have ever released. many would argue that college dropout and late registration are better, but I disagree. Kanye made history with this album which was ground-breaking to the music scene in 2010. The production is flawless and daring, very different to the, although well made, more stereotypical hip hop beats of his earlier work. Here we have kanye singing, although not for a whole album which proved a bit tedious on 808s and heartbreak. He comes out with some of his most self aware and depreciating lyrics on here,and crafts a Greek tragedy into a hip hop album. This is definitely essential to all kanye fans and anyone else who wants to be blown away.
on 5 August 2011
I love hip hop and I've always loved Kanye West. Some of the songs take a couple of listens to really get into but after a few run throughs I soon found myself looking forward to getting back in the car and listening to it!
The stand out tracks for me are Dark Fantasy, Monster and Lost in the world. The latter of which is actually rather moving in a weird way.
Nicky Minaj makes the track 'Monster' really stick out for me, she makes the song what it is and I love it!
The downside to some of the tracks is Kanye Wests HUGE ego overpowering the lyrics. I'm kind of sick of hearing him go on about how he is some kind of God! If only the music wasnt so darn good I would avoid him for that reason!
Although West goes to great lengths to make himself incredibly disagreeable, there is no doubting that he is a musical talent of epic proportions. While that talent competes with the size of his ego, his music is audacious and ground-breaking. In My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, West scales new heights by taking a long, hard look at himself. His artistry is apparent and profound in this album because he is facing demons, facing his own self-destructive tendencies and exposing his soul, flaws, rage and all, to us. The pathos may not seem apparent to someone who doesn't get hip-hop, or to those who only hear the bravado, but look deeper - there is pain and suffering. It is this which lifts the album above the immaturity of much hip-hop and the artistic bankruptcy of much of today's pop. While Jay-Z, and before him, the likes of NWA and Public Enemy laid out what it is to grow up and live in black ghettos in the USA, Kanye West takes us on a far more personal, introspective journey, akin to the also brilliant, dark and twisted mind of Eminem.
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is chock full of A-list guests and contributors, but this doesn't detract from the quality of the work. Surprisingly, despite the crowd and the extravagant musical arrangements, the album is an incredibly personal affair.
West first came to prominence as a producer, and his production skills and innovation come to the fore of this album. For example, on "Runaway", he takes his time getting to the bit, with a simple, almost painfully slow keyboard intro. After the "radio edit", there is a few minutes of what at first seems like a self-indulgent trip-hop/funk riff outro of a good 2-3 minutes. However, after a few listens, the craft within even this section becomes apparent and indeed enjoyable.
West comes to the album after becoming the poster boy for all that certain sections of the population hate about black music and black people. He made it easy to pick him out for criticism, even if the criticism was unfair, over the top and misdirected. At the time, West was struggling with numerous personal problems, including coping with the death of his mother. While nothing can compensate for that loss, he has used his art to confront his sorrow, his demons, and has made one of the albums of the decade.
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is a towering achievement of epic and very personal proportions. Bravo, Kanye.
on 12 February 2013
Personally before I purchase an album, I listen to it on YouTube to make sure that I liked the song.
I have always been a big fan of Kanye West since falling in love with his 'College Dropout album' so I knew that I wouldn't be disappointed with this album. The production of this record is fantastic and you can tell that a lot of time and effort has been placed in this.
Here is a track by track review of the album to give you a little insight:
1. Dark Fantasy - Love the intro and the chorus as the voices harmonise beautifully. You initially think that it will be a slow song but when the bass kicks in and Kanye starts, you know that this is going to be a typical head-nodder. Good start to the album 7/10
2. Gorgeous - This song is a grower. At first I didn't see what the fuss was all about but Kanye, Kid Cudi and Raekwon all bring something to the song but it is an album filler at best 6/10
3. Power - Love this song. Love the darkness infused with electronica and it is easy to get quite hypnotised with this song, impossible to refuse its beats. Love Dwele's voice and input and the last minute and a half is my favourite part 9/10
4. All of the Lights (Interlude) - Only one word could describe this - beautiful. The strings on the instrumental is gorgeous and I wish it would never end. I must have repeated this about 10 times when I first heard this. Sends me chills whenever I hear it and people may only think of it as 1 minute and 2 second interlude that has been placed there as a filler, but the inclusion of it on the official All Of The Lights video shows its importance. LOVE LOVE LOVE 10/10
5. All Of The Lights - Great song but the inclusion of all of those people (10 in total !) seems to go to waste - they could've been utilized more effectively. But nonetheless, great song with great production. Especially love Kid Cudi's part 8/10
6. Monster - Monster basically describes itself. MONSTER. From the haunting instrumental to the eccentric verse of Nicki Minaj. Rick Ross has limited contribution but should get more. Love this song 9/10
7. So Appalled - It's ok i suppose, pretty much an album filler to be honest 5/10
8. Devil In a New Dress - Love the flow of this song and both Kanye and Rick Ross shine 9/10
9. Runaway - Yet again another grower - a bit lengthy but a lovely song with a haunting instrumental 8/10
10. Hell of a Life - As a bit of a rock fan, I was happy to hear that it has an influence to the production of this song. Good album filler 7/10
11. Blame Game - The first time I heard this song, I instantly fell in love ! From the production to John Legend's soulful tones to Kanye's raw poetic lyrics to Chris Rock's fantastic section towards the end of the song, I cannot describe how beautiful and honest this masterpiece. I love the simplicity of the production and the sample of Aphex Twin's Avril 14th. This song has easily elevated itself into my list of favourite songs. Easily 10/10
12. Lost in the World - Not really a big fan of this. Bit of an album filler. 6/10
13. Who will Survive in America - Good outro to the album even though I feel like it was lacking something 6/10
An overall rating of 7.6/10 is an official rating of the album track's based on averaging out the above reviews but i believe that the album flows very well so I would instantly boost that to a 8/10
I was a bit late on the bandwagon so when it came to purchasing it, it was only £3.89 (with free delivery) which I was very happy with, especially given the quality of the album.
I would definitely recommend buying this album as you will not regret it and you can't really complain at a price like that !
Enjoy and I hope this review was helpful :)
on 4 February 2013
I adore this album.
Prior to hearing Runaway, I would've said I hated rap.
And in all honesty - I find the actual rapping amusing in places.
I would recommend this to anyone, however, understandably, it's not to everyone's taste.
- Track by track review -
Dark Fantasy: I was originally put off this track by the introduction, however, skip ahead to one minute in, and you will be bombarded with sounds of pure class and confidence.
Gorgeous: Love the introduction, can't say I've ever been particular addicted to this track through.
Power: Just listen. Allow it to blow your mind. Then play it again. And again. Repeat process until you can play the intro in full inside your head.
Interlude/All Of The Lights: Fantastic track, probably contains the most singing on the entire album.
Monster: This is a hard track to love. It's violent and offensive, but ultimately you'll probably end up humming it around Tesco...
So Appalled: Probably my least listened to track on the album, reminds me of Kanye's older work, which I'm not a huge fan of, still, not a bad track.
Devil In A New Dress: Gorgeous track... Sounds almost Chinese in places. Would recommend playing when you're getting ready for a night out.
Runaway: To this day, I cannot get over how much I love the piano in this. Simple, slow, and utter perfection. This track sparked my buying this album, and it was well worth it.
Hell Of A Life: This track is incredibly addictive, definitely a dance track. However the sheer lack of lyrical integrity may kill you. It's like a black rap version of 50 Shades. Under no circumstances play this around your mother or the elderly.
Blame Game: The first time I played this track, I was walking along the side of a very scenic hill, and was utterly lost in one thought - How can something so beautiful be so disgusting at the same time? I think that really sums up the song, depending on where you listen to it, you may find it moving, or horrific... Or if you're as childish as me, you may repeat the ending monologue and laugh hysterically with your friends.
Lost In The World: It took me a very long time to warm to this track, but it was worth it when I did. Whenever you feel abandoned - as if you alone have to take care of yourself, this is definitely the track to play.
Who Will Survive In America: The most insane track on the album. I couldn't say I like as music, but as art, I love it.
To a certain degree, I see this album as a work of art. It has so many dimensions that I cannot begin to explain.
- If you enjoyed any one of the tracks on this album, then buy the entire thing, I can promise you it will be worth it!
on 8 January 2011
I don't usually feel compelled to write many reviews but with this album I feel it is totally warranted.
Firstly people critisms of this album, basically those who have given it 1/2 stars seem to be the usual inflexible people - once they've found an aritist that they like they throw to the curb, saying things that show them to be unable to move with the artist. I happens all the time, look at bands like Metallica and Kings of leon. All bands that loose that first batch of fans in the process of growing. Something that their fans have been unable to do.
This album is unlike anything that the rap genre has produced. A mad, completely listenable piece of music which will soon be iconic. The first three tracks grap attention, not through shouts screaming etc, but because they deserve it.
As albums progresses so do the songs. Using input from his previous out-ins the album picks up all the best pieces of the previous lot and works them together.
Album of the year, perhaps? But it does give a good case for it to be.
on 9 December 2010
This is Kanye's best album so far. It has so many bril tracks I don't know where to start, Monster with Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z and Rick Ross is my favourite track at the mo. What's so great about this album is that every few days you'll discover another awesome track that you missed because you were listening to others over and over. The last track Lost in the World with Bon Iver also deserves a mention - for it's auto tune and harmony. This album is a masterpiece and if it doesn't get a grammy nomination for 2012 I'll eat my hat.