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View Poll Results: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
5 - masterpiece 21 43.75%
4 - superior 11 22.92%
3 - solid 6 12.50%
2 - mediocre 4 8.33%
1 - garbage 6 12.50%
Voters: 48. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-26-2010, 08:12 AM   #1
Edgar Erebus
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Default Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

It would be easiest to review this album track-by-track, and by doing that the point would be entirely missed. It has more guest spots and co-producers than any Kanye album until now, and it's obvious that it's one-man show. It literally falls apart under the weight of divergent moods and sounds, and it's the most cohesive among five Kanye's albums. It's commercial and anti-commercial. It's individualistic and it can spark a movement. It's braggadocious and it's honest. It's work of genius and it's stupid. It's alienating and it's appealing. It's larger than life and it's understated. It's bloated and it's too short. It's not even hip-hop, yet it's impossible to classify under anything other than hip-hop.

That's what it is. Sixty-eight minutes and forty-two seconds of self-contradiction. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

Of course it's gonna be hailed as an instant classic, and it's perfectly understandable that many people won't understand what the fuss is all about. It's unavoidable that it's gonna be overrated, although it completely deserves that. The thing is, we've become used to listening to straight-forward albums with clear orientation and goal - whatever it is - that listening to something as labyrintine, odd and uncompromising as My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy can sound straight repulsive. But, then again, what could we expect with a title like that, which takes a while to pronounce, and completely explains what the CD is. And it's just that, it's beautiful, dark, twisted and fantastic, and it's definitely Kanye's.

Because no one else could imagine of doing such an album in 2010. No one else could dare to take a dusty RZA beat and wrap it in Puff Daddy windchimes and angelic chorus and serve it to a polarized public that either hates overproduction or despises boom-bap. No one else could dare to sample the chorus of a hippie-esque prog-rock song and put it in completely different context, making the sample abuser the definition of 21st Century Schizoid Man. No one else could manage to have Rihanna, Fergie, Alicia Keys, Drake, Charlie Wilson, even god-damn Elton John and a whole battalion of other superstars on a single song and not to give any of them featuring credit. No one else could force two consequent six-minute posse cuts on a single album. No one else could make a nine-minute pop song with extended coda consisting of repetitive beat and heavily auto-tuned and distorted off-tune vocals that could easily be mistaken for an electric guitar. No one else could make a song that's at the same time drug-induced hallucination and dreams of fucking a porn star, all of that to a subterranean backdrop that's as much electro-pop as industrial. No one else could make a rap song that sounds as bunch of robotic drunkards singing a Summer of Love anthem. No one else could make a two-minute outro consisting just of long Gil Scott-Heron sample, without any original lyrics. And nobody could or would in the punch middle of all that a simple, sweet chipmunk soul love track.

But Kanye did all of that. Never since the Bomb Squad heyday has anyone with ambitions to the top 40 dared to push the boundaries of pop music in such a daring fashion. Speaking about Bomb Squad, seems that Kanye did the same thing as Hank Shocklee did with classic funk samples with his own music until now: those are super-polished choirs, orchestral breaks and string solos which are straight rudely juxtaposed with dirty samples of all damn genres, from psychedelia to ambient, with thunderous 808 drums (courtesy of criminally underrated dirty south pioneer Mike Dean) and with vocals which are as often distorted almost beyond recognition as they are crispily recorded. It's a soundclash - and I thought I would never use this word while referring to Kanye's music. It sounds brash, and it sounds hypnotizing. It's psychedelia for the end of decade zero.

It's obvious that the music is the focal point of the album and that the voices play more of an instrumental role - as on all Kanye's albums since Late Registration -, but on the closer inspection it becomes clear that Kanye took his introspection seriously. Over is deadpan self-aggrandizing of Graduation or emo weeping of 808's and Heartbreaks: what Kanye says here is more related to what made him a popular rapper in the first place - a clever mixture of bombastic and self-deprecating, but this time with a hint of a person who has really taken some punches - and isn't channeling all that into a destillate of sad faces, Kid Cudi style. Kanye is angry but doesnít show it, making all of his beefs sounds like a big joke that he takes too seriously. But, what's really amazing is how Kanye skews the traditional verse-chorus structure of hip-hop and pop songs, allowing himself to have choruses longer than verses, to have few minutes of instrumental or singing break among verses, and to have verses of varying length and even songs that don't even have verses or choruses. The rap goes with the flow, not following the pre-determined structure, which makes it more fluid and appealing than the mechanical raps most of today's rappers prefer to use.

Guests are, as usual, technically outshining Kanye, but they don't play against the host, but continue his train of thought through their own perspective. The biggest surprise here is, actually, Jay-Z, who hasn't sounded this much on fire since the good old days of the Blueprint.

So, yeah. Itís a difficult album, and, while the majority of public will embrace it because itís Kanye and other half will shun it for the same reason, the quiet truth remains that itís a pop-rap album that is as far from pop-rap as it goes. Everybody will love it or hate it for different reasons, and itís okay - Fantasy isnít here to please any target audience, but to be heard and listened to, to engage and provoke, to prove to everyone how great musician Kanye is while making it at the same cryptic and in-your-face. I donít know what the future holds, how much will this album be Xeroxed and diluted by following releases (or if it will be at all). I at least hope that this album wonít fall into the Web 2.0 era HD junkyard, that will be listened and remember, because that is what My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, at least to me the best album Kanye recorded, more than deserves.

10/10
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Last edited by Edgar Erebus; 11-26-2010 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 11-26-2010, 09:25 AM   #2
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tl;dr

album lost replay value quickly.
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:05 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ikke View Post
tl;dr

album lost replay value quickly.
lot of people seem to say this - sign of bad music

havent heard it yet
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:54 PM   #4
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I put this up there with his first 3 albums, which is to say - Its a genuine classic. In some ways like his old stuff, but then adding new elements with denser production, guests that don't seem tacked on for commercial value (a real feat considering how many motherfuckers are on it), and more fleshed out songs. He has a way of being arrogant but still refreshingly honest and realistic at the same time. I'm right there with him lyric by lyric, nodding to the beat and at the truth. I want another album like this right away Ye. None of that Electro shit.
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:56 PM   #5
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Kanye West is White Jesus

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-lrE2JcO44
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:25 PM   #6
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ppl on this site who said that listen to this:




great album IMO....in a league of its own compared to his previous shit...kind of a fusion of the previous 4 actually...elements from each...ye took his time with this shit

10/10
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Old 12-30-2010, 07:30 AM   #7
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masterpiece, no doubt.. unique, BIG sound, amazing orchestration, great choice of samples and interpolations and runs like a movie on CD. a truly "Dark Twisted Fantasy", Kanye, RZA, Bink, No ID, Mike Dean and Jeff Bhasker and the rest of the guys did a great job with the production and arrangements.

i'm writing big reviews for my blog on my 3-5 favorite albums of the year that includes this and for the other 7-5 albums there will be shorter sentences. but this is a masterpiece to me, love the "Runaway" movie too - how cool isn't it with a music video to an ALBUM?!

and i think it has high replay value so far
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Old 12-30-2010, 09:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claaa7 View Post
masterpiece, no doubt.. unique, BIG sound, amazing orchestration, great choice of samples and interpolations and runs like a movie on CD. a truly "Dark Twisted Fantasy", Kanye, RZA, Bink, No ID, Mike Dean and Jeff Bhasker and the rest of the guys did a great job with the production and arrangements.

i'm writing big reviews for my blog on my 3-5 favorite albums of the year that includes this and for the other 7-5 albums there will be shorter sentences. but this is a masterpiece to me, love the "Runaway" movie too - how cool isn't it with a music video to an ALBUM?!

and i think it has high replay value so far
co-sign, the replay value is ridicolous high imo...i've been listening to tracks 1-3 and 6-8 on a daily basis since i bought the album (although i just listen to these tracks, i dont like the other tracks)! its just so fresh and different i dont know...and im normally a kanye hater...
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:44 AM   #9
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love the "Runaway" movie too - how cool isn't it with a music video to an ALBUM?!
Fuck yes. I mean it wasn't what I naively expected - A DVD of fully produced music videos to accompany the album. Its a film with a lot of the albums music on it. But its still pretty excellent. Also record labels should take note, cos I know I would buy a lot more albums if they had a DVD with music videos on them. Anyway this album is uh...fuckin great.
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:31 AM   #10
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Kanye did an great job ruining an amazing RZA beat.
He shouldn't have added all those voice samples
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Old 12-30-2010, 09:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ikke View Post
Kanye did an great job ruining an amazing RZA beat.
He shouldn't have added all those voice samples
agreed.

the best elements of the album are mostly from other artists.

it's a good album, but nothing special.
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Old 12-30-2010, 09:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ikke View Post
Kanye did an great job ruining an amazing RZA beat.
He shouldn't have added all those voice samples
no way bro, that voice sample is amazing on that track, works great as a chorus...
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ikke View Post
Kanye did an great job ruining an amazing RZA beat.
He shouldn't have added all those voice samples
I disagree, i thought the vocal samples were great. It was something different, everyone just rhymes over the beats, Kayne done something different with it, which is exactly what i was looking for in this album.

Fucking brilliant album though, it was everything i expected reading all the reviews. He done something completly different with a mainstream rap album compared to what everyone else is doing.

No point writing a review, Slim T hit it on the head with that review.
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:11 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Durag View Post
He done something completly different with a mainstream rap album compared to what everyone else is doing.
True dat...
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Old 01-25-2011, 05:01 PM   #15
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i stole this cd from best buy then I listen to it. i hated it. and took it back to best buy.
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