Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy Review

Kanye.

What a polarizing figure these days.  A lot of people complain about his attitude and antics, but when ti comes down to it the man can make music right?  I wasn’t feeling his autotune phase much but outside of that, he has crafted some amazing albums and songs.

Even before he made his own albums he was blessing the likes of Jay-Z with some really incredible beats.  I am not saying he invented sped up vocal samples over soulful beats, but him and Just Blaze certainly brought them to the mainstream with their work on the Blueprint.  he successfully bridged the gap between producer and rapper, and I consider his first 3 albums great.  He certainly grew as an MC over those albums.

Whatever you think about Kanye – you have to be at least curious about his latest release My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.  I have an early leak here – but it looks pretty legit.  Here is my first spin of Kany’es latest album.  these are only my first impressions so they will focus heavily on the sound of the music and my opinions may change with repeated listens.

Let’s check out Kanye’s Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy…

1. Dark Fantasy – This is semi-familiar to me since it was on the Runaway video.  It is pretty epic sounding in CDQ.  Has a real anthemic feel to it – can picture the start in commercials.  Is this the RZA beat, after the epic start it really does sound Wu-ish.  A great opening trck – really has me interested and engaged.

2. Gorgeous (feat. Kid Cudi & Raekwon) – This sounds amazing to start, great guitar  sample.  Kid Cudi sounds good on the hook.  Kanye’s verse sounds solid too. Some interesting vocal filters used here.

3. Power (feat. Dwele)
– Well this has been out for awhile.  Pretty amazing track and great beat.  This album version does seem like it is reworked a bit.  Not much to say, you have probably already heard this yourself.

4. All of The Lights Interlude
– A mellow piano interlude, better than a skit at least.  A nice intro really.

5. All of The Lights
– Again Epic is the best way to describe this, I don’t mean in terms of awesomeness, but general feeling.  I don’t love Rihanna’s own work, but she is good on this song (and a lot of rap hooks really).  Kanye is great on this too – I have heard he raps about nothing, but I found his verses on here interesting.  This is a fantastic song.

6. Monster (feat. Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj & Bon Iver)
– First off this has been out for awhile too courtesy of Kanye’s GOOD Friday tracks.  I wish I knew it was going to be on the album before I played the hell out of it.  regardless, great track with some great performances.  Jigga kills this IMO.  I also think Nicki does a great job too – a very interesting verse, seems like she took the theme to heart more than anyone. This beat definitely sounds a lot cleaner than the other one I had heard.

7. So Appalled (feat. Jay-Z, Swizz Beats, Cyhi, Pusha T & RZA)
– Well another GOOD Friday track – one of my favorites actually.  Great beat and Jay once again kills it.  They could easily leave Swizz of and not lose a thing though.  Great performances from Pusha T and newcomer Cyhi as well. Keep an eye out of Cyhi who is out of Atlanta, and has been killing it lately.  They teased us with RZA and don’t even give him a verse. 🙁

8. Devil In A New Dress (feat. Rick Ross)
– I don’t think Ross needs to be on this album, but this beat is pretty unreal.  Some great laid back soulful old school Kanye.  i could see this beat on College Dropout for sure.  Another GOOD Friday track though – ugh.  The beat rides out quite a bit differently though.  Sounds great.

9. Runaway feat. Pusha T
– First off this track is nine minutes…whoa.  I wonder what  Kanye has in store.  This song you might know from the MTV awards.  I think it is a great song and one of my favorite from the whole year.   Just love the sparse piano and beat.  Hmm new vocal sample at the start of this version – sounds cool.  The added time is for a pretty cool 3 minute instrumental outro on the end of the track.

10. Hell of A Life – This is a pretty sick beat.  Sounds kind of menacing almost. Nice to hear Kanye flowing on this album.  He is singing some of his hooks though – like this one.  He does a good job on this hook.  The added effects to these beats are really some next level stuff.  Man 10 songs in and if I hadn’t heard a lot of those I’d probably be losing my mind right now.

11. Blame Game (feat. John Legend) – I like the sequencing here (well the whole album really).  The last beat was pretty dark, kind of menacing and almost put you on a edge a bit, then this drops and completely soothes you.  the extra programming Kanye has on these beats really add a lot IMO.  People complain he overproduces sometimes – not in this case.

12. Lost In the World
– I have heard this before and I didn’t like it at first.  the autotune singing at the start, just reminded me too much of the Kanye I wasn’t a fan of.  I never really gave it a full shot until now though.  The beat drops at about 1 minute in.  I think this is the kind of beat that makes people claim Kanye may overproduce a bit – and I can possibly see that here.  This is my least favorite song but I just have a feeling it will grow on me.

13. Who Will Survive in America – The end of the album is a cool outro that is tied into the end of Lost In The World.  It has a great spoken word piece that I should probably recognize – but I only heard it once after all.

On one listen – this album does seem to be a great return by Kanye.  I definitely like it more than 808 & Heartbreaks and Graduation even.  That could all change on repeated listens but this is a pretty incredible sounding album.

My one issue I have is using so many songs he had released previously during the GOOD Friday campaign.  Although some of them are tweaked it does lessen my excitement since I have listened to them so many times.

That said – if this was my first time hearing this whole album I would probably be pretty amazed.  Kanye may piss a lot of people off, but I don’t care if he keeps making music like this.



  • Bchandler150

    the vocals for Lost In The World are pretty much straight from a track from Bon Iver's EP Blood Bank. The use of the vocoder isn't Kanye's influence -- that's his style. If you don't like it that's fine, but keep in mind this is/was pretty much a full track by a pretty talented artist before Kanye touched it. I personally like Bon Iver, and really enjoyed what Kanye (or whomever) did added to the track. Feels more full.

  • Ahh interesting - I had no idea about that.

    I don't hate the track but it is probably my least favorite. It has grown on me a bit. I don't find myself skipping it because I like listening to the album as a whole, but I don't know if it is a track I would randomly play out of sequence because I wanted to hear it. Who knows though - that could change.

  • read the credits!

    another "reviewer" one who didnt read the credits?!?!
    please READ THE FUKIN CREDITS!!!

    BINK! produced devil in a new dress.. u know bink! right? they guy who kanye jacked his style from?? they guy who had the best beats on blueprint the guy who made all the songs everyone thinks are kanyes best beats??

    kanye didnt produce half the tracks, he didnt do any of the composition none of the instrumentation none of the arranging, none of the melodies none of the chord progressions none on nothing but rap his wack ass MEANINGLESS fukin ameteur ass bars... can someone please at least metnion the lyrics in a review?!? hes talkin about murcelagos lambo diablos and bragging about being rich 10 seconds into the thing and never never stops

    fuckin at least read the fukin credits b4 u take his dik to the back of your throat

  • You mad?

    I wrote this article before the credits were leaked. I also didn't claim Kanye produced everything - it was widely known he was bringing in outside production. The end result is HIS overall vision though.

    Bink did a great job on Devil, just like RZA did a great job on Dark Fantasy.

    Mike Dean also had his hand in a ton of these tracks, and IMO he is one of the most underrated producers of all time.

    Kanye was smart enough to surround himself with amazing talent like Dean, Bink and RZA. That is a pro of this album, not a con.

  • Jaymalls

    @TedPayne Yea... i think its a classic! Easily the best album of the year and not just in the genre of hip-hop/rap

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