Kanye West - ye
The album cover for this now renamed Kanye West album "ye" says "I Hate Being Bi-Polar Its Awesome", which for any who follows the man knows to be totally true. His manic album roll ups that lead to full isolation for years at time have become almost the norm for album releases. This record the follow up to 2016's "The Life of Pablo" had a similar rollout: Kanye comes back to Twitter, says some good shit, then says some fucking insane shit to try and alienate all of his fans than release a record that is fucking undeniable. It the thing people love and hate about him, He cannot be pinned down. Just when you think Kanye will be nice and give us something we can easily digest He refuses and pushes boundaries as hard as He possibly can. This is how I think it goes, Kanye spends a lot of time creating the beats for his records, likely the majority of the average two years between albums. He then writes his lyrics in the moment, maybe in the weeks and months leading to the album's drop. I used to think this meant He wasn't really working on his craft, just letting it explode out of him, but now I see it means He wants his lyrics to be of RIGHT NOW. Trump, North Korea, #MeToo and his recent stupid ascertain that "slavery was a choice" of the mind all make appearances here giving the album this frantic hurried energy. Francis and the Lights shares production duties on three of the seven tracks on this record, the first three of which are somewhat dark and expose Kanye's darker mental states, it's not until "Wound't Leave" that we get the "old Kanye".
"Wouldn't Leave" begins with this sparse gospel inspired production, begging for a choir to come through but Ye only gives you the feeling of them being there. There really is not a moment of predictability or wasted space, every inch of the twenty-three minute run time is expertly used. "Ghost Town" features John Legend, who has sparred with Kanye on Twitter recently. The track also has a strange and off key couple of bars from Kid Cudi. This track in particular feels the most convoluted and odd, more experimental and meandering than the rest of the record. It's Kanye at his most throw everything at the wall which sometimes creates great things but here feels like a miss. Usually working with Kanye means you are going to have the best brought out of you, but this album feels more sinuarly his, the features shrink almost into background positions never making the impact they typically do. This is perhaps so the other releases coming out this summer can shine while this record stays Kanye's. The album closes on "Violent Crimes" which features a Nicki Minaj voicemail as her feature and is a song that has this meandering piano line closing the album out on this easy listening note. Controversial, erratic and incredibly talented there is almost no way to put Kanye in any kind of box, but when you listen to his music outside of the nosie of the outside world it make so much more sense.
8.9 out of 10