Kanye West – 808′s and Heartbreak

11 Dec

808’s and Heartbreak is the lastest album from the self-proclaimed Louis Vuitton Don, and I’m not entirely sure what to think about it. The vocals are incredibly monotonic and one dimensional, this due in part to Kanye’s following the trend of heavily using the Auto-Tune machine. There are some awesome percussion lines in this album, but those are also mechanically created, using a drum machine (the Roland TR-808, which is where that half of the album name comes from, as it were) which is relatively disappointing, although a cool sound was produced none the less. The songs are all quite same-y, with similar instrumentals and absolutely not change in vocal style or tone whatsoever. However, the instrumentals are pretty, with some nice orchestral parts and one or two intriguing piano lines. The overall tone of the album is wistful and distant, even becoming reclusive or sorrowful at times, which I must say is very different from Kanye’s usual “I’m the best” banter.  As for the tracks, “Amazing” is probably my favorite, with its older Kanye feel, and Young Jeezy’s Auto-Tuneless part. It is more standard hip hop than the other tracks, and stands out because of this. “Love Lockdown” is another strong one, and is incredibly sorrowful. It likely has the strongest instrumentals of all the tracks, with some cool sounding tribal drums thrown in here and there. Unfortunately, Lil Wayne’s part in “See You In My Knightmares” is positively annoying. I generally like Lil Wayne, but this was too much for me – the dude pushed things a bit far. As well, “Pinocchio Story” is kind of cool for what it is, with an interesting metaphor, but its not the best i the way of quality. I don’t think it would have been much worse if someone had recorded it on their cell phone. This isn’t the sort of thing that belongs in a studio album – keep the lesser quality recordings for a b-sides and rarities album. I like this album far better than anything else I have heard from Kanye West, and it has, for the most part, made me like him far more than I did before I listened to it. However, it is not a particularily exciting album, but I suppose he can do something like this. God knows he has the money for it.

Here’s the video for the first single, “Love Lockdown”

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2 Responses to “Kanye West – 808′s and Heartbreak”

  1. Lauren December 12, 2008 at 4:03 am #

    Dear Lord I hated this album. I was expecting like, maybe another Daft Punk/Kanye West hybrid, but I swear to God this is one of the worst things I’ve ever torrented. “Late Registration” will always prevail as the best Kanye West album.

    • fckpitchfork December 12, 2008 at 8:02 am #

      Some people are really stoked on it though. Like a couple people were all dude, this is so great you have to hear this… But I think I might be siding with you in that his other ones are better. A couple of these songs are too cool to be called the worst thing torrented.

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