Yeezus – Kanye West album review


Yeezus is infectious, demanding that you listen to it even though it’s dark–and that’s putting it nicely. Kanye West has always been one to add bravado to his releases, in fact to everything he does. Yeezus is replete with electronic beats and heavy bass lines that allow West to rant and rave, and boast and brag. The album, a 10 song set, is a creative concoction that is superbly executed.

“On Sight,” produced by Daft Punk unleashes menacing synths and a Kanye who is abrasive and brash telling us that “Yeezy season is approaching” and we better get ready for it. It is an, I don’t give a fuck what you think song that many may find is the weakest among the set. “Black Skinhead,” is a seemingly Marilyn Manson-esque sounding assault against the status quo. The song proves that Kanye still has plenty of rhymes to deliver, and has no intention of submitting to the traditional and conventional tactics that many mainstream rappers bow to. As “I Am a God” suggests, it is all about ego. A deployment on selfdom, West has always been one to exhibit pneuma but throughout the beat that is meant to impact the speakers to the utmost effect it can, Kanye weaves a notable amount of amour-propre with bluster.

“New Slaves,” is a societal strike that is hostile and forceful and no one is safe here. West uses a sample from “Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday on “Blood On The Leaves,” which feels like a nod to his 2008 release, 808s & Heartbreak, with its distortion sound and autotune light production; while the finale, “Bound 2,” takes much of the presentation on Yeezus and celebrates it with champagne bottles, Charlie Wilson singing the backdrop and an old school sound that is akin to a relic from College Dropout.

At first sound, Yeezus, may feel detestable, offensive, shocking and unnecessary. But in fact, this is why we like Kanye West. It is the how dare he disses, and the minimal restraint that he exhibits that has made him a well-known rapper. Yeezus is not necessarily West’s best work, but it definitely necessitates a few listens before it hits you how good it is.

Yeezus receives a PARL

Rating:
P…Horrible
PA…Tolerable
PAR…Good
PARL…Kinda Great
PARLÉ… Classic

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