Taylor Swift
The Life Of Pablo

Kanye West | The Life Of Pablo

Label:  GOOD Music/Def Jam
Release Date: February 14, 2016
Rating:  4.5 out of 5
Grab/Stream This At:
February 21, 2016
By Jake Boshold
Editor's Note:  As of this publishing, Kanye has informed the New York Times back on February 18 that he is not even finished with the final product of The Life of Pablo.  The reviewer reserves the right to make wholesale changes, including the rating if and when Kanye does indeed polish a final product, if he does since he is Kanye West after all....also at press time, this album is not available on iTunes (and likely never), Amazon and Spotify. It is currently only available on TIDAL.

The Life of Pablo
, the seventh studio album from Kanye West, sounds just as insane as the stages it went through to come to life. The album’s original title was So Help Me God, announced back in 2014, less than a year after the release of his universally acclaimed sixth studio album, the Industrial-influenced Yeezus. In 2015, West changed the album’s title to SWISH, and it remained so until early 2016 when he changed the title to WAVES. West finally decided on the title The Life of Pablo early in February after he had his fans try and guess the title via Twitter using the abbreviation, T.L.O.P. Throughout 2014 and 2015, Kanye has released four potential singles for the album; “Only One” featuring Paul McCartney, “FourFiveSeconds” featuring Rihanna and Paul McCartney, “All Day”, and “Wolves” featuring Vic Mensa, Sia, and Frank Ocean. Out of all of those songs, the only one that made the official album was “Wolves”, except Sia’s and Vic Mensa’s parts were left out, and Kanye’s part was extended.

The album’s official tracklist went through multiple revisions as well, going from ten tracks, to seventeen tracks, to finally eighteen tracks. The album is currently only available for streaming on TIDAL, but West recently tweeted that a physical, deluxe version of the album will be released soon. The sound of The Life of Pablo is basically a kaleidoscope fusion of everything Kanye’s done thus far, a journey into the mind of Hollywood’s favorite madman. It contains the soulfulness and lyricism of The College Dropout and Late Registration, the excitement and thrill of Graduation, the raw emotion and Autotune-usage of 808s & Heartbreak, the variety and experimentation of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and the ignorance and insanity of Yeezus.

You can also say that T.L.O.P is the most “Kanye-ish” Kanye album yet. It’s everything that is Kanye, times two. We’ve heard Kanye use soul samples and Gospel samples in the past, but on the album’s intro track, “Ultralight Beam” with Chance The Rapper and Kirk Franklin, Kanye goes full-out Gospel and has an entire church choir in the background, as well as a sample of a four-year-old preaching gospel, and some organ. Kanye has also attempted to do Trap-style Hip Hop in the past, but on the tracks “Father Stretch My Hands 1&2” with Kid Cudi and Desiigner (a Chicago-based Future sound-a-like), as well as “Highlights” with Young Thug, Kanye both raps and sings with a perfected modern-Trap-esque flow mixed with his own original twist over production from Trap mega-producers Metro Boomin’ and Southside.

Kanye is ignorant, passionate, and lyrical on T.L.O.P. On “No More Parties In L.A.” with Kendrick Lamar, produced by Madlib, Kanye and Kendrick trade back-to-back verses about the lifestyles of the rich and famous, both artists using very playful flows, tight rhyme schemes, and creative wordplay. On “Real Friends” with Ty Dolla $ign, Kanye raps about his struggles as an artist, husband, and father, and how his lifestyle and choices he makes are affecting his relationships with the people he cares about. On the minimalist track, “FML” with The Weeknd, Kanye raps about the effects the media, as well as Kanye’s own personal demons, occasionally have on his relationship with his wife, Kim Kardashian, but because of how open Kanye is about his emotions with his wife, they still remain strong.

The Life of Pablo is basically an overall summary of Kanye’s life during the past few years, as well as a journey inside his twisted mind, telling you stories both through lyrics and sound. The album contains both everything people love about Kanye (storytelling skills, production and sampling skills, out-of-the-box overall sound, emotion and truthfulness, ability to work with several different types of music, production, artists, etc.), as well as everything certain people hate about Kanye (ignorant lyrics, narcissism, over-inflated ego, using sounds certain listeners may not be used to or enjoy, etc.). But overall, T.L.O.P is an explosion of different sounds, emotions, and lyrics that fit well together, and we would expect nothing more or less from Kanye.

Guest features include Rihanna, Chris Brown, Young Thug, Chance The Rapper, The Weeknd, Kirk Franklin, Kendrick Lamar, Ty Dolla $ign, Kid Cudi, Desiigner, The-Dream, Post Malone, and Frank Ocean. Key tracks include “Waves,” “No More Parties In L.A.,” “Highlights,” “Ultralight Beam,” “Real Friends,” and “Feedback."
Facebook Comments: Keep 'em clean folks!
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