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Kanye West - 808s & Heartbreak Review

Category: , , By Manu
Kanye West shot to stardom with his debut album "The College Dropout" in 2004. He was featured heavily in Jay Z's critically acclaimed "The Blue Print" in 2001 which made him a well known name in Hip Hop community. But many record companies turned him down saying he is not the stereotypical Hip Hop artist. But Roc-A-Fella offered his debut album and he hasn't looked back since then. He dropped hits after hits and continued his trend on his next two albums "Late Registration" in 2005 and "Graduation" in 2007 both of which went on to become multi-platinum records.

If Kanye West got multi-platinum records rapping, now he is attempting to get those by singing. 808s & Heartbreak sees the rapper singing throughout with the help of Autotuner. An album by a Rap superstar which contains no rapping at all should not work. But still this breaks all conventions and creative boundaries and appeals to us in a way only Kanye can do. The death of his mother last year and his break up with his fiancee has influenced his songs and lyrics heavily.

The album opens with "Say you will" giving us a gander at what's to come. Kanye lets the listeners know that he intends to sing instead of rap in this album. With a gospel like feel this slow melancholic track conveys the emotion Kanye feels. With the slow bass drums and Kanye's autotuned sound the track sets us into the mood of the album.

In the next track "Welcome to the heartbreak" Kanye continues to sing about how he is missing out on the things that matters in life. The catchy rhythm and touching lyrics makes this very enjoyable.
"My god sisters' getting married by the lake,
But I couldn't figure out who I’d wanna take.
Bad enough that I showed up late,
I had to leave before they even cut the cake.
Welcome to heartbreak."

"Heartless" captivates you right from the start with Kanye singing to you in an irresistible rhythm and flow. With refreshingly new lyrics the song works in many levels. "Amazing" is another track which is very worth listening to. Kanye hits gold with "Love Lockdown" which is one of the best tracks in the album. Its like he takes the album to a crescendo with "Love Lockdown". You have to hand it to Kanye to deliver such catchy rhythms. With tribal drums and autotuned vocals the track just blows you away and acts as a bridge "Paranoid". "Paranoid" is an upbeat almost dance pop song stands out to the overall tone of the album. "Robocop" represents the embodiment of what Kanye is trying to do. It blends many genres in to a pop gem. Kanye is pushing his creative boundaries with each track in "808s & Heartbreak". "Coldest Winter" and "See you in my Knightdreams" are also pretty nice tracks.

My Verdict - Kanye has been always known for his love for vocals. But with "808s & Heartbreak" he takes it a step further and pulls off yet another great album. We can see him pushing his creative boundaries in pulling off such a gem of a genre-blender. I'm not saying he is the greatest rapper alive, but he consistently puts out hits after hits when compared to his peers. Many artists would have paid a fortune for the rhythms and hooks in this album which was written, produced and recorded within months. With this album Kanye has emphasized that he belongs to an unique category of artists who experiment with music and come up with good results.
My Rating - 4/5

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