Friday, December 12, 2008

Kanye West: 808s and Heartbreaks

I was going to review Fall Out Boy’s new CD, but then I listened to this for the first time and had to do a write-up.

My God, this is awful. First of all, it’s a lot more mellow, almost depressing, compared to Graduation or Late Registration. There aren’t any really catchy tracks, nothing to sing (or rap) along to. While I’m admittedly not a huge fan of rap, I like a bit, and Kanye is part of that bit. Give me another Stronger from Graduation, Gold Digger from Late Registration, or The New Workout Plan from The College Dropout. But we get nothing. I guess he had cause to make a more mellow, more reflective CD due to the death of his mother in late 2007, his break-up with his fiancé, and the increased media presence around him.

That’s all well and good, but do you use those motivations to make a pop album, because this is not rap, and I don’t think it’s fair to call this R&B (fair to R&B, that is). I say that because of the heavy use of a drum machine (a Roland TR-808 drum machine, to be exact where the CD gets half of its name from). To me, it’s hard to sound sincere with an electronic beat behind you.

Which leads into my final but biggest gripe of the CD, the electronic sound of Kanye’s voice due to his reliance of an Auto-Tune. The only thing I can compare it to is a Speak and Read. Do you remember that? You typed in a word, or it told you a word, and you had to spell it. I think they might have also been called See and Says, and there might have been one for math. Anyways, if that thing would be able to speak in a non-monotone voice, I would have thought that Kanye just programmed one with all of his songs. It’s used in

If I have to give one compliment or say one nice thing, it’s kudos to you Mr. West for breaking out of your comfort zone. Congratulations, you did it. Now please, go back there, or try something else next time, but please don’t subject us to any more of this.

Listening to: Kanye West - See You In My Knightmares Ft. Lil Wayne
via FoxyTunes

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