Classic Album Review: KANYE WEST My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

kanye-west-album

It’s difficult to find an album with a bigger sound than Kanye West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”. Nevertheless, I find it disappointing that such grandiosity could only be achieved with a small army of producers and the sheer star power of other artists. For someone with such an egocentric persona, Kanye shares the spotlight generously with the likes of Jay-Z, Rick Ross, and Rihanna. This record is undeniably a great triumph in lyricism, rapping, and production.  It is a true model of success, but to say that such success belongs to Kanye alone would be untrue. This record would not have been an instant classic without the contributions of many others.

Kanye is undoubtedly a skilled producer and rapper. Had he kept the features on “MBDTF” to a minimum it would still have been a great success. Take “Yeezus” for example. A minimalist album with Kanye at center stage. “Yeezus” may be reactionary to the maximalist ideals of “MBDTF”, but I also like to consider it as what the previous release would have been without leaning on other talent. On the other hand, Kanye’s voice is not the most pleasant voice to listen to for an entire full length record. He does well to include so many features on “MBDTF”, giving us a break from the nasal oppression. He is to be thanked for keeping his singing at a minimum on this album, a lesson he no doubt learned after the volume of criticism of “808’s and Heartbreak”.

The featured artists do a great job of contributing to the album for the most part. Each Pusha T and Kid Cudi verse adds dynamic to the rap vocals, and the clean vocals are refreshing apart from Bon Iver. Although, Justin Vernon simply does not belong on this album.  He is out of place among other things, like Chris Rock’s skit in “Blame Game”, which is simply just boring and a waste of time. The sampling work, however, is brilliant. Kanye’s integration of progressive rock band, King Crimson, into “Power” was unexpected and seamless. The only homage the album could do without is the “Iron Man”-like progression in “Hell of a Life”.

“My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” is all about Kanye’s views of wealth, fame, and his façade. He handles the concepts well with smart, humorous, and accurate lyrics. The portrayal of his excessive persona is humbling and in good taste, but falls short of the impossible job of excusing his bravado. Relevant and interesting his philosophy may be, Kanye’s audacity inevitably ruins the possibility of anyone taking his ideas seriously. Rap may be accessible to a great many people, and it is easy to get behind “MBDTF’s” swaggering beats, but it is not the medium for deep thought. Kanye gave it his best to make this record about the consequences of fame and wealth, but he just comes across as another rapper flaunting his extravagant lifestyle. We get it Kanye, we know you have money, cars, women, and fame, are you running out of ideas?

 

Score: 8.9/10

 

Album Review by Zach Norton, January 2017

“My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”:

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Breaking News: Kanye West Extends Saint Pablo Tour By Adding More North American Dates

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Since August, Kanye West has been performing on the Saint Pablo Tour, which is intended to promote his latest album, “The Life of Pablo”.  The tour has recently seen an expansion, which will now be running until his New Year’s Eve show in Brooklyn and features stops in both cities he recently played in for the first wave of the Saint Pablo Tour, and cities he has yet to perform in.

The tour made headlines this year not for the material he was playing, but for how Kanye himself would put on these shows.  On the Saint Pablo Tour, Kanye stands on a “hovering” platform literally above his fans with a grid of stage lights beaming down on him.  This essentially creates a very intimate concert environment with the floor/mosh pit of fans being separated from Kanye by only a few feet.  This idea of a stage setup is absolutely genius and in return causes the Saint Pablo Tour to be a show I cannot miss, and you shouldn’t miss it either for that matter!

The picture above is one of the awe inspiring images that have surfaced online from one of the concerts on the tour.  A list of dates for this second wave of shows is attached below.  Also if the video below filmed by a fan in the crowd at the Dallas date of the Saint Pablo Tour doesn’t give you goosebumps and makes you want to go to this show, then I honestly don’t know what will.  This tour will probably be the greatest tour of 2016, and one of the best shows you will go to ever, and if you don’t believe me, then ask the thousands of people who have attended the tour so far and have said nothing but positive things about this electric performance by Kanye.  All tickets for the second wave of the show go on sale Friday so make sure you pick up your ticket then and get excited for the next stage in the Saint Pablo Tour featuring Kanye West.

10-19 Seattle, WA – KeyArena
10-22 & 23 Oakland, CA – Oracle Arena
10-25, 26, & 27 Los Angeles, CA – The Forum
10-29 Las Vegas, NV – T-Mobile Arena
11-01-02 Los Angeles, CA – The Forum
11-17 San Jose, CA – SAP Center at San Jose
11-19 Sacramento, CA – Golden 1 Center
11-22 Fresno, CA – SaveMart Center
11-23 Anaheim, CA – Honda Center
11-26 Dallas, TX – American Airlines Center
11-28 Denver, CO – Pepsi Center
12-01 San Antonio, TX – AT&T Center
12-02 Houston, TX – Toyota Center
12-04 Ft. Lauderdale, FL – BB&T Center
12-06 Orlando, FL – Amway Center
12-08 Atlanta, GA – Philips Arena
12-09 Columbia, SC – Colonial Life Arena
12-11 Albany, NY – The Times Union Center
12-13 Philadelphia, PA – Wells Fargo Center
12-15 Philadelphia, PA – Wells Fargo Center
12-16 Newark, NJ – Prudential Center
12-18 Toronto, Ontario – Air Canada Centre
12-20 Louisville, KY – KFC Yum! Center
12-22 Auburn Hills, MI – The Palace of Auburn Hills
12-27 Washington, DC – Verizon Center
12-28 Boston, MA – TD Garden
12-30 & 31 Brooklyn, NY – Barclays Center