Okay, I’ve been working ALL THE TIME seeing as it’s almost christmas, so apologies again for lack of updates. But here’s one, and surprise, it’s about Kanye West! Some of you may be tempted to stop reading there, but before you do, just take a look at this short for the first single from the album, Power.
Now I know there is a hell of a lot of hype around this album. It’s like Pitchfork decided to help Kanye with his main job of self-promotion, and now they’re now putting him on god-tier too. His latest album won’t change your life. However, it is a damn good, dare I say groundbreaking hip hop album, and easily the best this year.
One of the things that makes it so is the musical and artistic exploration. Many tracks feature extended instrumentals, and some push ten minutes in duration. The production is really quite innovative, at times groundbreaking. And while he uses less sampling then he has previously, the ones he does use this time are really quite inspired, such as the use of Aphex Twin’s Avril 14th on Blame Game. It would appear that visual art played a big part in the album too, whether in its inception or its promotion I’m not sure.
But what makes the album really special for me is the way he manages to take the listener on a journey, both musically and lyrically. The lyrics are at times witty, egotistical, insecure, incisive and unnerving, and often all of those in one track. The album is a series of tracks that fit together to form a story, and the name of the album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy really rings true in this case. Which brings us to the second video.
Thought the video for Power was too short? Try this video, Runaway. It features some of most of the tracks on the album, including the video’s namesake Runaway (quite possibly the best track on the album). A music video pushing thirty-five minutes? It’s definitely egotistical, as is the video itself. But I guess in the end, it’s a question of if you think he’s deservedly egotistical. Which is probably the real reason why I like his album so much. It gave me a reason to think he may be.
Stacey Ferguson in Boom Boom Pow - The Black Eyed Peas - Boom Boom Pow Single (2009, Interscope)
Does anyone else find this line highly ironic?
And my top 10 were:
- Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
- Beach House - Teen Dream
- Caribou - Swim
- Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles (II)
- Four Tet - There is Love in You
- Joanna Newsom - Have One On Me
- Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
- Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1
- Sleigh Bells - Treats
- Tame Impala - Innerspeaker
I also ended up with 10 runners-up, which I loved, but for one reason or another didn’t quite make it.
- Darwin Deez - Darwin Deez
- Delphic - Acolyte
- Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma
- Groove Armada - Black Light
- Hot Chip - One Life Stand
- MGMT - Congratulations
- Mt. Kimbie - Crooks & Lovers
- Röyksopp - Senior
- Washington - I Believe You Liar
- Yeasayer - Odd Blood
I will do a full 2010 round up once 2010 is actually over. I think a few people forget there are 12 months in a year, not 11…
Two out of four. I’m a massive fan of the Chemical Brothers, but their albums always seem to have a bit of filler to me. Also, I know the critics rave about LCD Soundsystem, and again I’m a pretty big fan (and they were super awesome at splendour), but I never got into their albums in a big way. Kanye and Caribou spot on, however.