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Kanye West - My BeautifulDark Twisted Fantasy

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Once upon a time, Kanye West was the ideal crossover rapper. He wasn’t a grandstanding thug rapping about moving coke supplies and shooting dudes and he came from a production background so his tunes seemed to be constantly ahead of the curve. In short, he was exciting.

Of course then came a whole lot of external shit that seemingly overshadowed the man’s music including some serious autotune overload, a ballooning ego and a few public meltdowns. But after nearly a year out of the spotlight working on becoming ‘a doper person’ and preparing his fifth album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye is back in full force, once again demanding your attention and this time he’s more than deserving of it.

After the downbeat curveball that was 808s & Heartbreak – which actually holds up better now than it did on first listen in 2008 – the thing that’s immediately striking about My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is its sonic breadth. It’s honestly awesome to hear Kanye traipsing over a smorgasbord of sounds on the album from the choral-backed clatter of Power to the dirty electronic bass of Hell Of A Life or Blame Game with its piano tinkles borrowed from Aphex Twin’s Avril 14th.

This stylistically varied approach drives the album to great effect with Kanye popping out tunes for all occasions including the radio-ready smash All Of The Lights and the nodding album opener Dark Fantasy, which was produced by RZA and feels like the rapper’s homage to classic hip hop.

As well as a reinvigorated production palette, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy also finds Kanye in magnetic form on the mic, holding his own with his featured guests like Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Raekwon and Pusha T where as previously he might’ve wilted. While Kanye can never be the underdog he once was, the events that torched his public profile in 2009 have humbled him somewhat. He’s still rapping about how good he has it – with familiar themes of cars, culture and coochie and how he’s master of all three pervading his rhymes – but there’s definitely chinks in his Armani armour, a pain behind his swaggering bravado.

To Kanye’s credit he doesn’t shy away from these conflicts, scraping the dirt from his wounds on compelling album highlights such as Runaway and Lost In The World, and it makes for a rewardingly honest journey across the record. It’s this kind of courage that makes My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy a great record. In spite of his public standing and perhaps his better judgement, Kanye tries a little of everything here, doing it all in his own inimitable style. He’s exciting once again.

Comments

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jonnoseidler

jonnoseidler said on the 18th Nov, 2010

Oh, Blame Game lifted from Aphex Twin? I really love that song!

berlinchair101

berlinchair101 said on the 18th Nov, 2010

This review got me excited for a Kanye Album again.Really well written.

squagz

squagz said on the 18th Nov, 2010

this is a lot better than graduation that had genius lines like "we were kinda like will smith and his son, in the movie I aint talkin' bout the rich ones". good simile kanye. on the subject of 'thug' rappers i'm going to have to quote this line from army of the pharaohs 2010 release, cos it's so thuggish its funny and aimed squarely at kanye and the like."I never thought I'd see the day hip hop would give birth to faggots, Mr T mohawks and urkel glasses. I'm from a hood where they rob cool kids, and I can't wear skinny jeans cos my glock's too big!"

MilkySheep

MilkySheep said on the 22nd Nov, 2010

It is such an amazing album, every song has something incredible about it. If I have one complaint I think it is a bit guest heavy. Add Monster and So Appalled together is around 15 minutes and yet Kanye is heard rapping about 4 of those minutes. Needs a bit more Kanye in my mind.

berlinchair101

berlinchair101 said on the 22nd Nov, 2010

Stupid JB-HiFi didn't have the phoenix cover. Lame.

say_aha

say_aha said on the 22nd Nov, 2010

devastated. They have the worst cover I reckon. Such a great album though. Except Monster (although Minaj kills it)

Stefan Beck

Stefan Beck said on the 22nd Nov, 2010

So pissed that the stores in Perth only seem to have the ballerina cover.
I'd prefer any other one to that.

POWER,All Of The Lights,Monster,Runaway and Lost In The World are all potential song of the year candidates.
I'd rate Blame Game up there as well if that Chris Rock outro didn't stretch on forever.

flat_eric

flat_eric said on the 22nd Nov, 2010

http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/14880-my-beautiful-dark-twisted-fantasy

now i don't normally consider myself a hipster p4k reading wanker, but you have to admit obtaining the first 10 for a new release since wilco in 2002 is rather impressive.

Sunnyboyz

Sunnyboyz said on the 22nd Nov, 2010

album is fantastic.

All of the Lights should be Triple J Hottest 100 Number One.

grattan

grattan said on the 22nd Nov, 2010

http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/14880-my-beautiful-dark-twisted-fantasy

now i don't normally consider myself a hipster p4k reading wanker, but you have to admit obtaining the first 10 for a new release since wilco in 2002 is rather impressive.

Damn a perfect 10!

On Twisted Fantasy, Kanye is crazy enough to truly believe he's the greatest out there. And, about a decade into his career, the hardworking perfectionist has gained the talent on the mic and in the control room to make a startlingly strong case for just that.



So pissed that the stores in Perth only seem to have the ballerina cover.
I'd prefer any other one to that.

As far as i know all the copies have all the covers... it just depends on how you fold the booklet.

berlinchair101

berlinchair101 said on the 22nd Nov, 2010

I'm suprised how most reviews havn't mentioned how his voicce has changed. It's a lot huskier, I think his massive partying has really given him a raspier voice and delivery.

I didn't really listen to 808's and Heartbreaks so I don't know if it was like that on their but it really took me back at first listen.

It's a great album though. He totally had me hooked again in the first song with lines like "So much head i woke up in sleepy hollow"
"Look like a fat booty Celine Dion, sex is on fire, I'm the King of Leon-a Lewis "

The Great Monkey War

The Great Monkey War said on the 22nd Nov, 2010

Listening now. I've already heard half the tracks through G.O.O.D. Friday and the other leaks. When you factor in the Runaway video, I've heard a lot of the album already.

However it really is awesome. I love Dark Fantasy and All of the Lights.

I'm going to go buy it today.

say_aha

say_aha said on the 23rd Nov, 2010

Damn a perfect 10!

On Twisted Fantasy, Kanye is crazy enough to truly believe he's the greatest out there. And, about a decade into his career, the hardworking perfectionist has gained the talent on the mic and in the control room to make a startlingly strong case for just that.





As far as i know all the copies have all the covers... it just depends on how you fold the booklet.

thats what i thought they would do. They have all the other covers inside buts its got a baby poo yellow colour border around all

sarcasm_mister

sarcasm_mister said on the 23rd Nov, 2010

like most other people ive heard a bulk of the album already through good fridays and leaks. but nevertheless this is a brilliant album and potentially top 3 for 2010.

SaMBoY

SaMBoY said on the 23rd Nov, 2010

here i was thinking that the majority of people on this forum had a pretty decent taste in music, then i find a thread filled with praise for kanye. your opinions are all null and void.

grattan

grattan said on the 23rd Nov, 2010



It's not just us - the album has a perfect score on Metacritic as well

daverh

daverh said on the 23rd Nov, 2010

album is fantastic.

All of the Lights should be Triple J Hottest 100 Number One.

Are they even playing that? Seems like the last track they'd play on the album with all the pop features.

SaMBoY

SaMBoY said on the 23rd Nov, 2010



that's because it delivers everything you would expect a kanye album to deliver, crap music and stupid lyrics.

daverh

daverh said on the 23rd Nov, 2010

Enjoying your thoughtful input into this discussion mate!

SaMBoY

SaMBoY said on the 23rd Nov, 2010

^ when a thread is created about any other artist, there is always a lot of hate thrown in to it. I think it's only fair that this thread gets some too.

Sunnyboyz

Sunnyboyz said on the 23rd Nov, 2010



yeah, probably a bit too pop for triple j...

but fuck it, if they play Ceelo like its normal fare... then why can't All of the Lights work?

lanesra23

lanesra23 said on the 23rd Nov, 2010

I'd only heard Monster once before listening to the album in full so it was all very new to me. I'm a big fan of the album. A couple of the songs are getting old and I don't like All of the Lights, but the rest will keep me listening for a long time to come.

sarcasm_mister

sarcasm_mister said on the 23rd Nov, 2010

the last few kanye albums have had at least one "commercially viable" track. late registration had heard em say, on graduation it was Good Life then 808s had heartless and i guess All of the Lights plays that part on this masterpiece of a record.

and does it really matter if triple j plays stuff of this album or not?

lanesra23

lanesra23 said on the 23rd Nov, 2010



No, it doesn't.

Hell of a Life seems like it would be popular with Triple J listeners.

berlinchair101

berlinchair101 said on the 23rd Nov, 2010

the last few kanye albums have had at least one "commercially viable" track. late registration had heard em say, on graduation it was Good Life then 808s had heartless and i guess All of the Lights plays that part on this masterpiece of a record.

and does it really matter if triple j plays stuff of this album or not?

I'm pretty sure Gold Digger and Touch the Sky were slaughtered on mainstream radio and music tv far more than Hearn 'Em Say.

From my memory of the time anyway.

brownie-ll

brownie-ll said on the 23rd Nov, 2010

It's a great album but not perfect, mainly due to Kayne thinking that excess equals perfection. Runaway didn't need to be nine minutes long, Blame Game would be just as good without the Chris Rock part. On the upside, at least Kanye remembered how to rhyme this time around.

The only other thing was that I didn't think So Appalled was one of the stronger tracks from G.O.O.D. Fridays. A polished version of the first half of Christian Dior Denim Flow would have been a better choice in it's place.

Braveheart81

Braveheart81 said on the 23rd Nov, 2010

I'm pretty sure Gold Digger and Touch the Sky were slaughtered on mainstream radio and music tv far more than Hearn 'Em Say.

From my memory of the time anyway.

Surely Gold Digger is his most played song on radio ever. The only contender would be Stronger.

daverh

daverh said on the 23rd Nov, 2010

Of course it doesn't matter if triple j plays this record, but they still will, it'll be a feature record next month. Just saying that All of the Lights isn't going to sweep the Hottest 100.

sarcasm_mister

sarcasm_mister said on the 23rd Nov, 2010

I'm pretty sure Gold Digger and Touch the Sky were slaughtered on mainstream radio and music tv far more than Hearn 'Em Say.

From my memory of the time anyway.

yeah sorry i thought Touch the Sky was on graduation not late registration. yeah heard em say was the wrong example.

that last bit on Blame Game is completely unnecessary and the album is a slight drag at times but otherwise it is nothing short of amazing

and lets not forget kanye already has 4 albums of quality music under his belt. so the mere fact he is still making decent music is an achievement especially in the current music scene.

Stefan Beck

Stefan Beck said on the 23rd Nov, 2010

Somebody probably already thought of this but Runaway has sort of a Massive Attack vibe that I just love.

lanesra23

lanesra23 said on the 23rd Nov, 2010

I discovered on the train home today that I like 'Runaway' more if I ignore the vocals.

jimbingo

jimbingo said on the 23rd Nov, 2010

kanye is pretty damn talented, this album is amazing. his tunes, production and flow are great, its just a pity about his lyrics... wish he worked with someone on it

jsmusicbox

jsmusicbox said on the 23rd Nov, 2010

i found a deluxe edition of this album on itunes. http://bit.ly/fcnhuj the guy definitely has the talent to back up his attitude and only he would pull off some crazy stuff like his video "runaway". anyone else agree?

berlinchair101

berlinchair101 said on the 24th Nov, 2010

I watched the runaway video last night on channel V.

I didn't think it was that amazing. He's definately a far better musician than director and the parts where he had to speak seemed pretty awkward to me.

That said it was an ambitious idea, the art direction and obviously the music worked well together and it wasn't that bad.

Jose Cuervo

Jose Cuervo said on the 24th Nov, 2010

It's good....but i dunno if its worth all the fapping on here it gets

grattan

grattan said on the 2nd Dec, 2010



So I was totally wrong about this...

lanesra23

lanesra23 said on the 3rd Dec, 2010

Indeed. Ballerina for life.

The Great Monkey War

The Great Monkey War said on the 3rd Dec, 2010

I got the Ballerina. Badasss.

grattan

grattan said on the 30th Dec, 2010

Leaked clip for Monster:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WL-J0uo7_Y&feature=player_embedded

daverh

daverh said on the 30th Dec, 2010

Was there ever a vid for All of the Lights?

grattan

grattan said on the 9th Mar, 2011

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBq44_ME5mA

MorningAfterboy

MorningAfterboy said on the 9th Mar, 2011



Just in case you haven't seen it yet:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAfFfqiYLp0

Love me some Hype Williams.

Maximillian Billion

Maximillian Billion said on the 9th Mar, 2011

^^^When the video first started with the epilepsy warning I thought it was a joke.

Upon reflection, it is definitely not a joke!

sarcasm_mister

sarcasm_mister said on the 9th Mar, 2011

i wonder if they'll ever perform the song with every one in it together on stage. grammys 2012 seems most likely.

grattan

grattan said on the 9th May, 2011

The ultimate in Kanye fashion - dark twisted fantasy scarves

http://cdn.rap-up.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/kanye-scarves-475x486.jpg

berlinchair101

berlinchair101 said on the 10th May, 2011

For a guy who is supposedly so into high fashion, them some ugly ass shirts.

mooney88

mooney88 said on the 10th May, 2011

Looks like Ed Hardy and Tapout had a love child.

sarcasm_mister

sarcasm_mister said on the 10th May, 2011

you forgot the best one! lol.

http://www.pedestrian.tv/_crunk/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/yeezy-scarf-1.jpg

selling for a very reasonable $350.

oldgregg

oldgregg said on the 10th May, 2011

I wouldn't even pay $350 for what's happening on the scarf.

mooney88

mooney88 said on the 12th May, 2011

To cowgirl Kanye West?

oldgregg

oldgregg said on the 12th May, 2011

yeah i mean would you?

Jose Cuervo

Jose Cuervo said on the 12th May, 2011

Cowgirl and the damage done?

Jose Cuervo

Jose Cuervo said on the 12th May, 2011

When you dance, i can really cowgirl?

berlinchair101

berlinchair101 said on the 13th May, 2011

Hey Hey, My my (into the cowgirl)

grattan

grattan said on the 17th May, 2011

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6c1QxLIM_Ns

sarcasm_mister

sarcasm_mister said on the 4th May, 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LDoJoRM260

18 months on and this masterpiece album is still giving.