After some delays, Kanye West’s new album, “The Life of Pablo,” dropped Sunday morning.
It is, in typical West fashion, vulgar, misogynistic and all about him. West initially unveiled the album at a gigantic live streaming event in Madison Square Garden on Thursday, but it could not be found online until Sunday morning, apparently due to Kanye making last-minute changes, including adding songs he did not perform at the live stream event.
The album is gratuitously filled with cameos from very famous artists, though he credits none of them on the track list. The album starts off strong with the first song “Ultralight Beam." There is a strong religious focus in this song — it even features a gospel choir.
However, the album immediately begins to deteriorate following its solid opening. Next up on the album, “Father I Stretch My Hands,” seems to be striving for that same religious R&B aesthetic, but the song is lost in a mess of Auto-Tune. Perhaps the most controversial song on the album is “Famous,” which has sparked much debate due to West bringing up his age-old conflict with Taylor Swift, even calling her some unsavory words. This particular song has put a lot of heat on West, who finally spoke out to defend himself, claiming that he called Swift and asked her permission to use the lyrics, and that she thought it was funny. However Swift’s team claims that while West called her, he never asked her permission.
Swift isn’t the only lady in West’s life that he decided to call out on his album. At one point in his song “Highlights,” West mentions wife Kim Kardashian’s ex, Ray J, and then goes on to call Kardashian names. While West most likely had his wife’s consent to do this, the attitude towards the mother of his children might leave some listeners with a bitter taste in their mouths.
As for the rest of the album, it’s difficult to find many standout pieces when listening to it straight through. Often, the songs seem to blend into one another, feeling like one long, self-gratifying rant rather than a collection of unique songs. West even included a song titled “I Love Kanye,” which should be a surprise to none as he is notoriously egotistical, but it still feels over the top.
With all the hype leading up to this album, the finished product is very underwhelming. It feels over-produced, over-Auto-Tuned and too eager to be controversial. If controversy is what West was seeking, at least he got that, but the music itself — not worth the money.