Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Kanye West - 808s & Heartbreak


Kanye West + Auto Tone = Mediocre album

Kanye West’s fourth studio album, 808s & Heartbreak, is a departure to say the least. Be prepared for something on this release, Kanye does not rap one line on this entire album! I am a Kanye West fan. I bought his first release, College Dropout, and was floored by the beats and intelligent rhymes and smart guest appreances. His next two albums; Late Registration and Graduation showed Kanye West maturing as a rapper and producer. The “College Trifecta” albums were great and catapulted Kanye to the top of the pop charts and made Kanye a media sensation. (p.s. telling America George Bush does not care about black people on live tv helps you become famous/infamous). West soon realized what Notorious B.I.G. knew, “Mo Money, Mo Problems.”

808s & Heartbreak is an album full of pain and loneliness. Kanye had both to deal with in 2008; his mother died from a botched plastic surgery and his longtime girlfriend broke up with him. I know that would make me not fell like writing another song like “Gold Digger.” This album has serious flaws though that make it an up and down venture. Kanye’s voice is recorded with a studio tool called Auto Tone. Auto Tone if anyone is not familiar is what makes T-Pain well…T-Pain. Kanye West in fact got advice from T-Pain on how to “explore” Auto Tone. What Kanye fails to realize is that it gets monotonous after a few songs. (even T-Pain's "I'm in Love With a Stripper" got annoying after a while). He might legitimately not be able to sing and need it but it seems like just another flavor of the month rap thing.

The album title refers to the electronic drum machine the Roland-808. All of the songs drum beats were created on this machine. West lets us into his psyche and gets a lot off his chest. On the second track “Welcome to the Heartbreak” he is jealous of his friend’s kid and normal life and Kanye only has his cribs and cars to come home to. The track “Heartless” refers to some woman who guess what broke Kanye’s heart. Wonder who that could have been? Kanye’s first single is the club track “Love Lockdown,” one of the stronger tracks on the album. The albums strongest tracks are numbers 1-6, the rest of the album is not exciting and a bit of an exercise to listen to. As a big Kanye West fan I am not worried about his future output. This is his therapy album and he was able to get a lot off his chest. I want my old Kanye West who’s ready to keep my white ass rapping in the car to his records.

No comments: