Tuesday, September 18, 2007

More Krolik: A Guest Review

Ok, so now we've got a guest review from my friend Krolik. He runs Truth in a Bullet Fedora, and he loves Kanye West. I put up an article about the two albums, and he commented on it with this. Take a read, I've got comments afterwards...

Your "famous friend" is having a weird day. Have you ever come back from class to find 41 comments on your blog, most of which are some kind of variation on how retarded you are? It's weird. Anyways, here's what I thought of Kanye's album, as he's my favorite artist and me and this guy argue about him constantly. As always, because of the huge variety in his beats, Kanye is hit-or-miss; here is my ranking of the "hits."

1. "Stronger": If this comes on at a party and nobody grinds on you, you probably smell like dead bear. Pushes the limits of bumpability.

2. "Can't tell me nothing": One of the few tracks on this album that showcase Kanye's conflict and ability to self-examine. Also, the beat gave me chills. Also, this is what led me to turning in a paper for American Lit. comparing Ben Franklin to Kanye West.

3. "Everything I am": Beat gave me super-mega chills. The lyrics inspire because there seems to be actual truth behind the self-aggrandizement; instead of making himself larger-than-life, he describes himself as someone who has overcome his own faults.

4. "Homecoming": Love the piano. Love the Chris Martin.

5. "Champion": An uptempo beat made from a Steely Dan song is either going to be really good or really bad; I found it to be the former.

6. "Good Morning": Kanye's in a grove with more laid-back beats on this one; they all just seem to work out well. And I don't know why I love the line "You got D's, Mothafucka, D's, Rosie Perez," but I do.

7. "I Wonder": See above quote about laid-back beats.

8. "The Glory": An in-your-face move to his critics, even with the ultra-chipmunking of the sample.

9. "Big Brother": I'm sorry, but I'm just not interested in hip-hop feuds, especially when they're closer to Coke-Pepsi than Biggie-Tupac.

"Drunk and Hot Girls" and "Barry Bonds" didn't really do it for me. But damn, I love Kanye.

Okay, so after his reactions, here are some of my own in response:

1. I still like the original song by Daft Punk better...which I guess is what keeps me from liking this song so much, and I've already written about my views on Kanye sampling too many other artists. There is no better evidence to me that he samples too much than this page on Wiki, where there is a 3rd column in the table about his songs that shows which songs he sampled.

2. I didn't get "chills" from the beat, that was reserved for the first and last songs on the album, but I did like the self examination. It also contains another obligatory reference to the title of the album, which is just another wink Kanye puts in so that we understand the progression of titles from his three albums.

3. This is the kind of track I really like in rap. Just a simple beat, Kanye stripping away all of the fancy production and just being honest through his lyrics.

4. I'm a little tired of the practice where rappers have musicians from different genres on their albums. This collaboration is a better one, but I still think it's closer to Fall Out Boy having Babyface produce Infinity on High than Dizzee Rascal and Arctic Monkeys collaborating on tracks.

5. Where Krolik found it really good to sample Steely Dan, I didn't find it that great.

6. Still my favorite song on the album, and currently the song that wakes me up in the morning on my iHome in my dorm. The lyrics are fantastic, and I love the DeLorean reference.

7. To be honest, I kind of see this track as the beginning of the lull that is the middle of the album...sorry.

8. Krolik mentioned the chipmunking of the sample; that sums up why I didn't like the track in a pretty simple way.

9. So Kanye believes he has a part in one of Jay-Z's feuds...big deal. The story seemed forced and out of context to me, and thus I didn't like the track.

There. Now you've got even more analyzation of one of the biggest albums of the year, and one of the most important rap albums ever. I didn't say best, because I don't believe that in any way, at this point in time it doesn't even begin to rival College Dropout, but it's better than a lot of stuff out there.

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