Leaving behind the trilogy of college themed packages, Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, invokes an insistent and remote Kanye West, yet at the same time reminds us all of why we liked him in the first place.
Opening with “Dark Fantasy,” Kanye begins a speech on his rise to the fame and the cost that comes with it. It forces a head nod with its fierce piano and loud percussion. “Power,” is where Kanye ignites a fire with verbal dynamite. “Power” is one of the cuts on the album that stands alone with its originality, grandiose ego and daring beat.
It is on “All of the Lights,” however, that we are greeted with a style similar to that of many of the songs featured on 2007’s Graduation. Featuring a host of singers, it is a demonstration of Kanye’s impressively structured production and skills with the pen. He is equally aggressive on “Monster,” which roughly expresses different styles from that of Rick Ross, Jay-Z , Nicki Minaj and Kanye himself.
“Runaway,” the album’s longest twisted fantasy, is where West vents to critics of his zany and self-aggrandizing attitude that he has portrayed since his foray into the music scene. The three final cuts mix various genres of music and solidify Kanye’s eerie, sinister imagery with an awe-inspiring concept of vanity. “Hell of a Life,” crosses auto-tune with vivid bars, while the glum of “Blame Game,” features cowls from John Legend flying through a stormy tapping of the black and white key instrument.
“Lost in the World,” skillfully shows off West’s stint into the boisterous stampede of dance music without the overwhelming touches of techno or house. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy closes with a remark from master poet, Gil Scott-Heron, on “Who Will Survive in America.” It is a moving and deep finish to an album that fills the empty spaces, if evident, in Kanye West’s collection and relentlessly tells the story of a lyricist bent on stretching the limits of hip-hop music while building upon its foundation.
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy receives a PARLÉ