A little while ago I finally got spotify. There are too many goddamn songs. There are too many genres. It’s like giving an addict an unlimited supply of drug of choice. If I was up to me, all I would do is listen to Motörhead, Ghost, and making different playlists where the most noticeable difference is the song order, which might defeat the purpose of having nearly unlimited music at hand. I might as well get some tapes and a walkman and listen to said tapes until they fall apart, which is not without appeal. But all this choice! So I decided to listen to albums. Luckily I have an omnivorous appetite for music so I will give most stuff a fair chance. Anyway the first album I decided to listen to is My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West.
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West is one of those albums I heard a lot of about but never actually heard. Of course I know who fucking Kanye is, he’s an empire on to himself, man even has his own line of shoes that are so ugly I think it’s a prank. I remember listening to The College Dropout and thinking that was pretty good, but too slick for my taste, and in a blink of an eye Kanye became one of the most famous motherfuckers ever. College Dropout came out in 2004 fastfoward to 2010 and here comes MBDTF. Yeah, it’s still slick, but now shit has gone slightly awry.
Of course I heard some of MBDTF. One of my favorite video game moments is in Saints Row The Third, at one point you (or your character/avatar) has to jump from a helicopter into a high rise penthouse, where you gotta shoot a bunch of motherfuckers. The whole scene starts off in the chopper with Power blasting and it continues playing for a while. Fantastic. The whole album strikes me as a reaction to Kanye achieving his dreams, but they are not all they seemed, the fact is they’ve been distorted. What seemed so glorious and desirable actually turns out to be maybe not the best thing. A song like All of the Lights sounds like a triumphant song, all of the lights on Kanye, but it’s about all the lights that scrutinize and expose instead of highlight. At the same time Kanye is all like, “I want you to see.” For every slick thing there is an element of disjointedness, like at the end of All of the Light with that piano. There’s a shit ton of distortion throughout the album, a lot of Kanye’s vocals are distorted in various ways, another snapshot of his state of mind. There’s a lot of anguish, even what sounds like a love song, Devil in a Red Dress, is a song about how riches and fame have twisted Kanye’s reality.
The production of this album is fantastic. There’s like 20 plush layers to each song. Let’s go back to power, it starts of with that chanting, then that air siren comes on, a warning of what’s about to be unleashed. There’s a lot of guitar on this album, ranging from groovy wah wah funk to straight up guitar solos. Hell of a Life has this dope almost stoner/doom metal bass line, and it transposes the vocals of Iron Man by Black Sabbath in a delicious way. Lush instruments and deep samples really sell the album to me, but I am a hip hop/rap beat guy. Monster has this crazy almost carnival like horns which wouldn’t sound of place in a Rob Zombie song. Shit, talking about monster, what about Niki Minaj’s guest verse, it’s so fucking good! This crazy halloween/dance hall thing going is dope. Which shouldn’t be a surprise as Niki Minaj’s guest spots are always on point! There’s a lot of people here Kid Cudi, Raekwon, RZA, Niki Minaj, fucking Bon Iver! That’s just featured artist, I don’t even want to look up how many producers were involved, and I can’t help but wonder how many ghost writers were involved. I’m surprised at how long a lot of songs are, the shortest song runs 4 minutes 17 seconds, but it’s not as interesting as the other ones. A lot of time when musicians put out albums that are reactions against blowing up the whole thing comes off as whiny. Luckily MBDTF doesn’t come off that way. This album is a straight jacket made out of chinchilla fur with shackles made out fat gold rope chains. When Kanye wins the 2018 presidential race the performance of Power at the inauguration is going to be fucking epic! My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is totally worth a listen.
Favorite tracks: Power, Monster, Hell of a Life
It would go well with: flat champagne, once you realize that you’re drunk, and that you’ve been partying for a long time, and maybe you were better off at home because you’re not exactly sure how you ended up at this party, and where are your friends?
Up next: Without You I’m Nothing by Placebo or Jailbreak by Thin Lizzy. I got a few suggestions from some friends, and a few from a couple of list. I am still open for suggestions.