Kanye West

Kanye West: 80s And Heart Breaks
Author: Joe Ragusa
Rating: 2.5 / 5

Kanye West might as well have released his newest album, “808s and Heartbreaks” under the moniker “T-West.”  The 4th full-length album from the established producer and rapper attempts to show the softer side of Kanye, which turns out to be more depressing than anything.

The intro to the album, “Say You Will,” sets the tempo for the rest of the album by dropping a slow drum beat and vocoder-masked lyrics of angst over an elusive woman Kanye spends the entire album droning about.  Songs like “Coldest Winter,” “Street Lights,” and “Bad News” sound like they should be sung by suburban teenagers who wear girl jeans and eyeliner.  “Heartless” could be a letter Kayne stole from your ex after a bitter break-up, but the creepy, circus-like beat makes you wish you never sent it in the first place.  “See You in My Nightmares” sounds like it should be the intro to a more aggressive song, but then Lil’ Wayne kicks in with a second verse and you realize that the song is just Kayne and Weezy talking into an Auto-Tune for four minutes over an anti-climatic orchestra-backed beat.

There are still a few gems that salvage this record.  “Paranoid” is reminiscent of one of Kanye’s earlier hits, “Touch The Sky” (he even utters those words) with it’s fast motown-esq beat that makes you want to listen to The Gap Band.  “Amazing” features the flamboyant “I don’t care” style Kanye is known for, although Young Jeezy’s part seemed forced into the song.  The first single off the album, “Love Lockdown,” goes into a topic that most rappers won’t dare talk about: jealousy.  Not of other people being jealous of him, though. Kanye preaches about how jealous he gets when he’s away from the woman he loves over a tribal-like drum beat.

This record has more misses than hits though, and while the experimentation with the Auto-Tune will ultimately be worth it since “808s” debuted at #1 on the sales charts and has already gone platinum according to XXL Magazine, if Kanye keeps throwing out records like this he’s going to lose a lot of fans.