Kanye West “Yeezus” Review: Lyrical Misses Amidst Musical Powerhouse

Photo Credit: www.allhiphop.com

Kanye’s ego-driven sixth solo album is a lyrical mess but a musical masterpiece.

Kanye might be one to constantly reinvent himself, but “Yeezus” will still be a mark in his discography, the moment where his music truly hit revolutionary ground. “Yeezus” is an eclectic work, resulting in what has to be the first ever industrial rock / hip-hop pairing. This is the result of Daft Punk, Rick Rubin and Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon all showing up with writing and producing credits.

Musically, “Yeezus” is a sonic experience. West’s rapping is mixed over blends of house and industrial music, with dramatic tonal shifts at any moment. “I Am a God” switches from rapping to ambient screaming at one point. The music lands anywhere from personal to terrifying, in a way that flows throughout the whole album. It feels minimalistic, too, despite the genre blending and the originality. Rubin was brought in to make a more stripped-down sound. West released no singles for the album, because hearing a track on the radio would diminish its feeling of placement as musically, the album can only be appreciated as a whole.

West’s lyrics lack any sort of flow, providing a surprising disappointment for the album. They are effective on every song, but there is no zeitgeist, no general theme. Songs like “I Am a God” and “New Slaves” aim to make some serious notes on culture, while “I’m In It” is nothing more than a crude song about sex. With no flow, the statement songs are less effective because they sound like rants, even if they’re well-written and well-performed. Each track, individually, has great lyrics, but not the album as a whole. Still, “Yeezus” is a powerhouse of originality, worthy of all the attention it is receiving.

Grade: B+

By Andrew McNally

One Response to Kanye West “Yeezus” Review: Lyrical Misses Amidst Musical Powerhouse

  1. Nick Beliveau says:

    Just gave it a listen today and Kanye once again is my favorite producer in rap, but probably my least favorite rapper. His claims of being a God would mean more if he wasn’t just rapping about bitches and cars like every other rapper out there for pretty much the whole album. When he runs out of thoughts, he adds lines such as, “Fuck them other niggas cause I’m down with my niggas” which is just generic filler. I really was hoping to actually see some of Kanye as a person through this album and unfortunately I think I did. He seems to worship money and really love himself as much as the news shows he does.

    On another note, the production is incredible. I personally have never heard a rap album with a style like he brings to this one. I think I’d enjoy this album better without the vocals because I just can’t handle Kanye’s lyrics.

    Overall not a bad listen but I was hoping for a lot more in the way of artistic expression and meaning because of the hype behind the album, but its Kanye so I guess I might have had expected too much.

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