MOS Album Review: Kanye West – “The Life Of Pablo.”

kanye-west-albumKanye West  is a lot of things. But we know him as a Chicago rapper/songwriter, music producer, fashion designer, and founder of G.O.O.D music. He also owns a creative content company called DONDA. Kanye first came about around the early 2000’s by producing tracks for other popular artists like Jay-z, Ludacris, Talib Kweli, Alicia Keys and more. Many know him by the “Imma let you finish speech” or his 2010 MTV performance of “Runaway”. But let’s be honest- most of us know him from the 2004, “Through the Wire” days. Kanye’s seventh studio album was just recently released on Tidal, and only Tidal. Sadly for some, the album is unavailable for purchase. But you can read Amanda’s review of the album below.

When I heard Kanye was coming out with another album finally since the 2013 release of Yeezus, I was so excited. Now, I’m not the biggest Kanye fan or even a Kanye critic but I would definitely classify myself as a Kanye enthusiast. I admire this man’s incredible talent and his desire to bring something different to the table than just “hip-hop”. In saying that, this album shouldn’t even be considered on the spectrum of hip-hop and that was probably exactly Kanye’s intention. Let me just start by saying I had really high expectations for this album based upon “No More Parties In LA”, and when there were rumors of Chance being on the album- I freaked out a bit. However, I’m going to have to honestly review this piece that so many see as extremely artistic.

As I mentioned before I’m not a Kanye critic and MBDTF is probably one of my favorite albums in existence, but this piece of work Kanye released is far from his best, or even close to his barely-good. In my opinion Yeezus wasn’t good either, too over-produced but had some ground-breaking songs at least. But in comparison to this tape, Yeezus is practically a gold mine. Hear me out though, I’m in no way a Kanye hater, just an advocate of well-constructed music. Which this is not…

The album starts out with “Ultra Light Beam” which is most people’s favorite song on this album, mine included. The way everything flows together- the production in contrast with the gospel vocals and Chance’s verse. This song is as close to perfection as you can get with a Kanye track. I give Kanye the credit where it is due with the artistry of this track.

But then the album continues, maybe he just set the bar too high with the first track, but the rest of the songs are debatably some of the worst work from Kanye. In the second song, “Father Stretch My Hands Part 1”  it starts out very old-school gospel as it moves through. After “If Metro Don’t Trust Ya, I’mma shoot ya” it starts to get funky and you get hyped with Kid Cudi’s voice echoing through the track and the simplicity of bass-boosted production. As it continues it reminds me of the 808’s and Heartbreaks song “Bad News” with the way Kanye’s voice is altered and constructed. However, the lyrics on this song some may find humorous somehow, but with lines like ” If I fucked this model, and she just bleached her asshole…” and it continues. If this whole song was just Kanye and the beat, it wouldn’t be tolerable. But thankfully, Kid Cudi kills it with the chorus. I’m gonna have to give it up for the one time on the production for this track because if there’s one thing Kanye stays on his game with is production. But just as much as it can be his stronger aspect, it can ultimately be his downfall as well.

Then the album moves onto, “Father Stretch My Hands Part 2” which again- starts out pretty good. And then Desiigners feature kills it, but the ad-libs in the background are dope the first couple of time and then considerably get more and more annoying. Then the music cuts and some very weird outro plays, which leaves a bad taste in my mouth…

Rihanna’s voice echoes through my headphones along with a catchy beat and I love Rihanna so I was hyped. Then Kanye’s lyrics come through and ruin it for me once again. Rihanna comes through once again and you realize that the chorus doesn’t even really fit with the rest of the song, but Kanye’s verse after is pretty alright. The ad-libs from the old man are really displeasing. But the whole ‘Bom Bom’ addition is pretty cool, but highly unnecessary. I feel as if Kanye is trying to appeal to someone who is suffering from ADHD and needs help paying attention. This album switches up tooo much. Diversity is a good thing but in excess it can be highly annoying. There’s too much going on and I don’t even know how to process. It just ends abruptly which is cool, I’m glad it ended.

Okay this song “Feedback” is probably one of the MOST annoying songs I’ve ever heard, the beat, the lyrics, and just the song as a whole is utterly just jumbled and disinteresting. It sounds like someone is driving with terrible breaks and playing an electric guitar for the first time.. That’s all I have to say about this song.

I’m not going to continue throughout the tracks on what I don’t like because it would be quicker to say what I do, because there isn’t much. Most of the intros on these songs are really, really dope but somewhere along the lines it’s like Kanye just falls on the keyboard and is all like, just hand me the mic and imma say some shit. The transitions on most of the songs are really bad, rushed, ill-timed and misplaced. I will say though, the features on these songs are truly incredible. If only Kanye could actually pay them the amount they deserve. All jokes aside, they deserve a round of applause honestly. Take this entire album for what it is, did you do that? Alright, now take away every part where Kanye raps, or talks or whatever. Is the album equally as good? My answer? It’s better. The only songs I can honestly say that I would listen to on a daily basis would be “Ultralight Beam”, “FML” “Real Friends” and “No More Parties in LA”, these tracks are well-constructed and fairly note-worthy. The rest can honestly just go on the back burner for me. I would go into even more detail but I don’t want to make this an entire novella someone has to read. Maybe I had too many high expectations about this album from the start, but this was just a sheer disappointment for me. Hope I hear an album from Kendrick and J.Cole soon because just like Frank’s album, theirs didn’t drop when it was going to.

However, rumor has it Frank Ocean had a listening party for his new album recently… let’s hope it drops soon- but I won’t get my hopes up again. Until then, stay posted on upcoming music news for all genre’s here at Manifesto Of Sound!

Amanda’s Album Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

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One Response to MOS Album Review: Kanye West – “The Life Of Pablo.”

  1. Nick says:

    I totally agree with this review. I was disappointed with this album. The beats and ad libs were the best part, I thought everyone who was featured sounded great as well. Great intros then like you said, Ye starts singing and it just ruins it. Could really vibe to Father Stretch My Hands but his part just ruins it for me. Overall I think this whole album is a grab for attention so he can stay relevant.


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