'Watch The Throne' is a dark, sinister album consisting of two of the biggest rap stars in the industry today, Kanye West and Jay-Z. The album starts off with 'Church In The Wild', a moody, bouncy track featuring a chilling chorus from upcoming r'n'b singer Frank Ocean. Already you can tell the production is luscious, expansive and larger-than-life. The next song, 'Lift Off' features Beyonce, mixing synth-heavy production with horns and trumpets, following with a chilled ending that leaves you wanting more. Thankfully track 3, 'Ni**as in Paris', brings back the fiery nature of the two rappers, with large beats and a brilliant breakdown. Kanye tells us that there is much more to come, "You are now watching the throne, don't let me into my zone...". Lead single 'Otis' is a fun throwback to Otis Redding, with a catchy piano melody and both rappers playing off each other. 'Gotta Have It' has excellent production with the Neptunes, and the beat is great. 'New Day' is a track I dislike but many people may like it. It has Aretha Franklin heavily autotuned in the background but IMO it's a bit too slow and dull. 'That's My B**ch' brings the momentum back up again, with Ely Jackson singing a very catchy chorus while you can feel heavy tribal drums pulsating. It's a highlight from the album. 'Welcome To The Jungle' has a great irregular beat that works well. 'Who Gon Stop Me' is a hard-hitting semi-dubstep rap track that definitely sounds great when you turn the bass up. 'Murder To Excellence' is another highlight from the album, and consists really of two songs, both outstanding. The background children chants in the first part sound great, with a dark subject matter and suitably added piano melody towards the middle of the first part of the song. The second part has a different production that sounds just as awesome. 'Made In America' features once again Frank Ocean, a bit soft on the chorus but it's a nice downtempo song. Doesn't really fit in with the album much though. 'Why I Love You' has a catchy chorus thanks to Mr Hudson, although the song doesn't feel that much like a rap song - more like a dance/club song when the chorus kicks in.
All in all an EXCELLENT rap album that anyone who enjoys hip-hop should add to their collection!!!
Right now Kanye West is in a similar place to where Dr Dre was in the late 80s and early 90s, when Dre was churning out great albums by NWA, Above the Law and the D.O.C. In the time that Dre has been seeking elusive perfection in forever polishing Detox (will it ever see the light of day?), Kanye has built a whole career, from his early moments of genius on Jay's Blueprint to their current Watch the Throne project. I don't know if the two have ever met, but master-producer Dre could learn something from Kanye's easier, more collaborative approach. Kanye's production fingerprints are all over Watch the Throne, but he happily works with a whole host of other producers, including the unsung hero Mike Dean, who did so much of the underlying work on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
As Chuck D said many years ago: 'All the critics you can hang 'em, I'll hold the rope'. And the critics have been out in their hordes for this one, waiting for the masters of the game to slip. Well, much of what has been written about this is nonsense. This is by no means a perfect record, but which is? (Nothing is perfect in this world Dre, so just drop that Detox and be done with it bro.) Whether it will survive as a hip-hop classic remains to be seen, but for now let's just enjoy some of the great moments on Watch the Throne. Of the 12 tracks on the album proper, most are very good, and a handful brilliant. The weaker moments come with the stabs at commerciality (the Beyonce featuring Life Off and the silly That's My Bitch, and even Otis wears on repeated listening). Some of the strongest tracks are bunched together in the album's great climax, beginning with the astonishing Who Gon Stop Me, where Jay chases the crazy heavy-synth beats; the brilliant 'nah, nah, nah' Swizz Beats hook of Murder to Excellence and its segue into an equally intriguing beat by No ID; the Frank Ocean beautifully crooned Made in America, and the full-blooded roar of Why I Love You. Elsewhere, the Neptunes produced Gotta Have It is a standout, as is the moving RZA-handled New Day, and the enigmatic No Church in the Wild, with its great performance from Frank Ocean.
Kanye's talents have always been in the production department and - although he raised his lyrical game in his last solo album - his rapping here is often disappointing, sounding over-confident and sometimes lazy (success can have its downsides, as 'Ye well knows). Jay, though, kllls it throughout. Kanye is at the top of the production game, and Jay is at the top of his lyrical game, with keen and urgent delivery on every track.
So, forget the haters, the cheap commerciality (dull r'n'b choruses etc.) of much of today's rap output, and enjoy a pioneering real hip hop album, 'cos these boys ain't vacating the throne for some time to come...
Its not often that i listen to an album start to finish repeatedly....this album is amazing...from the production to the lyrical content, Kanye and Jay bounce off each other well...each song is completely different from the last, so many styles to keep you hooked, you will not get bored of this album, trust me! BUY IT!!!
Ohhh To be honest this was better than expected from the first track I was hooked. When I say better than expected my expectations of jigga has not fell but thougt he may not have passion still. As for kanye well hands down one of the best to do it in this era that's for sheezy. As the album played through track 4 track I was nodding and enjoying the chemistry these two lads put down. A real good effort won't disappoint - peace