5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
An undeniable masterpiece,
This review is from: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Audio CD)
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.