DENIZENS OF THE INTERNET:
I’m in kind of a bind here. I feel like I should have a strong opinion one way or the other about Kanye West’s latest album, but I’m not sure what that strong opinion is.
ON THE ONE HAND: I’ve always thought Kanye’s whole shtick was marginally interesting, but only marginally. He’s a talented, funny MC, and a great producer, but his cocky posturing wears thin pretty quickly and I felt like there wasn’t a whole lot going on underneath that.
BUT ON THE OTHER HAND: So you would think I would welcome a drastic change of direction from him. And on paper, “drastic change of direction” sounds great. But this video really turned me off of the whole enterprise:
It kind of reminded me of this:
But with autotune, which ranks up there with Katy Perry talking about kissing girls in the most ubiquitous and thoroughly grating trends in modern popular music.
BUT ON THE OTHER OTHER HAND: Thom Yorke did some cool stuff with autotune on Kid A, long before T-Pain came along and pulled a big steaming pile of fail out of that ridiculous hat of his. And Justin Spees makes the album sound like an achievement on par with the Magna Carta, and he’s usually right about things.
And perhaps most damningly, the album’s just burrowed its way into my consciousness and won’t leave. It’s like a musical tapeworm.
This could mean that, like with many brief but regrettable infatuations–which I won’t discuss here–it will pass within a week. Or it could mean that 808s and Heartbreak really is a remarkable album.
I’ll listen to it some more and report back. But in the meantime, those of you who have impeccable taste in music should start forming my opinions for me.
Thankfully, I feel much less ambivalent towards Chinese Democracy, even though, as with Kanye West, I didn’t find GNR’s earlier albums particularly engaging. Still, suffice to say, everything Klosterman says here is fact. A more appropriate title for the album might have been Hubris. Or Awesome.