Friday, December 12, 2008

Review: 808s & Heartbreak - Kanye West

Starting with a music review in a genre I mostly dislike. You can tell how desperate I am for something to blog about.

Anyway, this album is definitely not what you've come to expect from Mr West. The first major difference is the scariest: singing and Auto-Tune. For those unfamiliar, Auto-Tune is the computer tool used by Cher and more recently T-Pain that converts standard singing into something more tonally accurate and far more robotic. In the past this has been robotic in a cheesy way, unlike the more hardcore and awesome techniques of Daft Punk and the like. However, proving that he doesn't suck, Kanye manages to pull this off much better than the unbearable, but tonally accurate moaning of T-Pain.

Unfortunately, while it is much better, much better than unbearable does still not reach the lofty heights of Graduation or Late Registration, and is even further from far superior genres of music. Singing is definitely not something Kanye's voice is suited to. The Auto-Tune mostly acts as a crutch for his weak voice to lean on. This works to some degree, but again is nothing compared with his rapping.

Now, the album has some standout elements. Overall his lyrics have substance and meaning, and flow nicely. The 808 Drum Machine used prominently in this album gives it an interesting, almost tribal feel. Many of the tracks are worth listening to. The rest, unfortunately, aren't.

A good effort from Kanye West, but not good enough. This album fails to live up to his previous records, and really isn't anything too memorable.

7 and a half out of ten.

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