Verdict – 9.7
The fifth album by American Hip Hop artist Kanye West, incorporates a culmination of his previous work to create a record laced with soul, baroque, gloss and auto-tune. In a time when general music listeners were looking for accessible and appealing music, MBDTF showcased a man whose music was neither. Self-loathing, pompous arrogance and uncertainty are strung within the themes and lyrics, as they are treated to some of the best musical production one can find in music of any genre.
In Gorgeous and Power, we have Kanye at his humblest… (at the end of the day, god damn it I’m killing this shit) as he lets us know he has outgrown all the negative media attention, and we should too (It’s not funny anymore, try different jokes). In the epic collaboration of Monster, we hear one of the funkiest beats to grace a West song, as the contributions all add to a stellar anthem. Amongst some of the biggest names in hip hop, Minaj manages to steal the show and produce one of the album’s tightest verses. The album’s centrepiece and best track, Runaway, we hear West at his sincerest, his barest as he finally accepts all the criticism towards him and embraces it (Let’s have a toast for the douchebags). The song’s clever outro has him sing through a vocoder, a device that usually de-humanizes a person and their voice, and yet West sounds more intimate and primal than he could ever sound normally.
What we are left with is a near perfect album, one which embodies scope and ingenuity, all from a man whose confidence reaches further than his ambition, who really knows no bounds. Whether you love him or hate him, accept it, the man’s a genius. His ear for musical production is second to none, and although we may have just entered the decade recently, MBDTF will be amongst the best albums of the coming decade.
Top Songs – Power, Monster, Runaway