No one saw this day coming. Well, except the people who sit around me at the DE sports desk who overheard me say the other day that I would be reviewing a pair of recent iTunes store purchases.
That's right, music reviews on The Big Dead Sidebar. It's just another way to expand the readership of this great blog. And rather than bore you with all-knowing, high-and-mighty prose about this album. I'm about to keep it real.
Artist: Kanye West
Title: 808's & Heartbreamk
Hits: Like every Kanye record, it's full of hits. The singles "Heartless" and the re-worked drums of "Love Lockdown" are not only radio friendly smashes, but they provide the surface view of a deeper, darker look at the heart and soul of Mr. West.
My favorite tracks seem to all come together near the beginning of the album. Weird. With "heartless" and "Love Lockdown" sprinkled in, "Amazing" features Young Jeezy who breaks up the monotony of Kanye's use of the autotune thingy that T-Pain, Lil' Wayne and every other R&B singer has overused recently. "Paranoid" is a killer track with some sweet synths. Arguably my favorite track is "RoboCop" which combines super-cool 80s style syth sounds with some bad-ass 808s with the premise of a nutty girlfriend.
Misses: At first, I was going to be totally against this album as I am sick and tired of the autotune/vocoder trend. However, when I heard the re-worked "Love Lockdown" and the awesome single "Heartless" and realized that Kanye West wouldn't let me down.
Still, there are some missteps, such as "See You In My Nightmares" which features Lil' Wayne. It's not a terrible track, but I just want Weezy to spit hot fire ... not sing.
The Verdict: Buy it. It's rare when an artist goes deep into their soul and turns it into commercial success. So when it happens, embrace it. Kanye West embraces a new image as he attempts to get over his mother's death and being separated from his fiancee. Sometimes all you need is a little bit of heartbreak and soul searching before you show your creative side. Kudos to Kanye.
Besides, it could be worse. Go ahead and buy Soulja Boy's new album. I dare you. I bet you "Heartbreak" sounds like gold after listening to that crap. Well, that's of course if you don't go deaf after stabbing yourself in your ears after purchasing the Soulja Boy album.