The Rob Reviews Kanye West’s Yeezus
It’s one of the most talked about albums of the year… But is it any good?
Kanye West is a no-brainer for me. What I mean by that is that when he releases an album, I don’t even have to THINK about whether I should pick it up or not… I just do. Eminem is a no-brainer. Jay-Z is a no-brainer. Kanye West is one of very few musicians who can crap out any compilation of music and I’ll buy it day one… As I did with his latest album Yeezus which came out last week. I’ve listened to it numerous times now, and feel ready to give this thing an accurate review.
Yeezus is ONLY for the most serious Kanye West fans. Casual fans of his (if such a thing exists) likely will not understand or enjoy this. So, because you liked “Gold Digga” and “Stronger” and “Jesus Walks,” does NOT mean you’re guaranteed to like Yeezus. In fact, I’m not certain Yeezus yields ANY radio singles at all, or even any club-bangers, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad.
It’s not bad. Nor is it great. It’s a good album that I would probably consider Kanye’s worst, but that’s because every other album of his I would describe as “exceptional.” It has the trademark cutting-edge sample-heavy Kanye West production; the vain, conceited, yet fun and eloquent lyrics mostly talking about how great he is or what he’s going to do to your wife. (Joke’s on you, Mr. Yeezus… I don’t have a wife!)
Kanye produces the second half of Yeezus mostly by himself. Of all people, Daft Punk actually produces the first half. At no point in the album is production ever a problem, and I like the musical blend that occurs when you mix one cup Kanye with one cup Daft Punk. The album also marks the hip-hop and musical debut of God. Yes, that God. The God that created Heaven and Earth, all that is clean and unclean… He’s on Yeezus! We don’t know how long God has been toying around with the idea of working with West, but Kanye made it happen.
God, our Heavenly father, appears on the third track titled “I Am a God.” I expected God to have deeper, more powerful, booming, baritone vocals, but I was surprised to find his voice, flow, and lyrical content to be very similar to that of Kanye West’s.
That song, “I Am a God,” is the theme of the album. You can tell throughout the entire 40 minutes that Kanye TRULY believes this. He doesn’t sing about much aside from how awesome he is. Moreso than ever before Kanye comes off as really TRYING to piss people off. He reminds me more of a bad-guy pro-wrestler TRYING to goad the audience to hurl garbage his way than he does that young polo-sporting ‘College Dropout’ of seven years ago. He may be working on his ‘character,’ and I’m OK with that. Music needs ‘characters,’ and they aren’t all supposed to be super heroes. The Joker is far more entertaining to me than Bat Man is any day… And in this album Superman is dead.
To further solidify his messiah complex, his urge to offend, and his give-no-crap attitude, Yeezus has NO COVER ART. There are no liner notes, nor sleeve with any words or pictures. Just a blank disc in an empty jewel case, and an orange sticker along the spine to ensure the album hasn’t been opened. The disc has no image, minus a few legal scripts and a clue that to see the production credits you can head to his website. Seriously, what an F you to the audience. “You want to see the CREDITS to my album?! F— you! Go to my website!” It’s probably brilliant.
This album is not for the closed-minded nor for the easily offended. Yeezus will throw concepts at you and force your mind to go places that it probably doesn’t want to go to. Some track titles I don’t even feel comfortable writing here, but they’ll challenge you in ways that you’re probably not used to from an album of music, and that’s not a bad thing. Kanye’s been called many things, but “dumb” hasn’t been one of them. Yeezus will make you think, make you laugh, and make you pissed… It’s exactly what Kanye wants you to feel.