Favorite

Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam) 

It seems abundantly clear that Kanye West is an ass. It is also amply clear, with the release of his gnarly, brilliant My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, that no one in hip-hop has mastered the role of the self-hating villain as well as West.

In one of the album's most ingenious moments, we see a collusion of its two extremes: glorious pop and overblown experimentation. As the lecherous, glittery slow jam "Devil in a New Dress" is followed by the swollen, orchestral and somber pop masterpiece "Runaway," you hear the album's impressive shifts from the sublime to the grotesque.

In a contemporary pop world where the Biebers and Swifts are doing their best to lull the masses into an inoculated illusion, West is a necessary, snarling approbation from the wings. The throbbing, terrifying standout "Monster" is pop at its most savage. These are neither easy nor happy times, and West seems compelled to shout that from the main stage. On the dark techno bump of "So Appalled," West blasts saccharine pop with sputtering economy, barking, "That's why another goddamn dance track gotta hurt."

But people don't take sanctimonious, droll criticisms from the rich and famous, so West never sacrifices melody or nimble delivery in favor of message. Whether plowing his words through the tribal, urgent grind of "Power," Auto-Tuning his loneliness with Bon Iver on the glorious "Lost in the World," or moaning to the operatic bathos of "All of the Lights," West is deft in wrapping a poignant message in an engulfing soundscape.

More by Michael Petitti

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

The Range

Festival Season Is Coming To Tucson

Song of the Day: 'The Jones' by John D. Loudermilk

More »

Latest in Rhythm & Views

  • Rhythm & Views

    American Monoxide “In Flight Mode” (People In A Position To Know)
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • Rhythm & Views

    Wight Lhite “Beyond the Satellites” (Paisley Shirt Records)
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Standing Tall: Jillian and The Giants

    Jillian and The Giants’ smoky debut rises on folk, soul and rock and fishes flying in airplanes
    • Sep 22, 2016
  • HOCO Delights

    Y La Bamba bring it to Tucson as part of the HOCO four-day music love fest
    • Sep 1, 2016
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2016 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation