Life of Pablo album cover (photo:: )
Album reviews
Artist:
Kanye West
Album:
Life of Pablo
Release year:
2016
Label:
GOOD music
28 March 2016 / by Shane Quaas (author)

The Life of Pablo is the seventh studio album brought to us by the eccentric rapper Kanye West. This album reminds listeners that Kanye’s style from his early days has not disappeared. With the release of Yeezy, fans were concerned that the Kanye they grew to love would ever return. The lyrics and sounds that Kanye delivers bring listeners back to the roots of his career, and relinquish the idea of a lost Kanye. It’s no secret that he’s seen as an egocentric, arrogant, and overall moronic person by many people. His personality has turned many away from his music, and caused them to ridicule his every move. Given all the negative attention he has received, Kanye delivers an amazing album with The Life of Pablo from start to finish. The album features an array of artists such as Chance the Rapper, Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd and many more. Each of these artists adds their own unique sound, and vibe that meshes well with Kanye’s own sound. 

Tracks such as "Real Friends" give listeners a personal look into Kanye’s life in the industry. The lyrics are written around an ongoing issue in Kanye’s life, whether or not his friends are his “Real Friends”. Throughout the song, he reiterates that he’s concerned with people only being around him for profit or fame; a serious concern for many celebrities. Kanye wants fans to know about his struggles. He wants them to know the true personal hardships that he experiences. This insight into his conflicts is what fans wanted from this album. They were tired of the aggressive Kanye, and wanted to see the soulful Kanye of Graduation and College Dropout to return. 

Considering how many times Kanye changed the track order before the album came out, he made the perfect choice starting off with "Ultralight Beam". There couldn’t be a better way to reassure your fans that the old Kanye is back by beginning with this song.

Kanye rapping about God and faith is nothing new. It’s an important factor in his life, and many of his raps are based around it. His use of gospel choirs is also nothing new (Jesus Walks), are becoming somewhat of a signature of his. Returning to rapping about faith in this soulful manner brings fans back to those old days. The second I heard this song, I felt like I was listening to old Kanye again. It was almost as if he had never left. The slow tempo, and overall sound of the intro track reminded me of his older material. Chance the Rapper verse was the best part of this song for me. His voice is perfect for this kind of song, and it pulls listeners in to keep wanting more. When comparing Kanye’s releases, "Ultralight Beam" is on the opposite side of the spectrum from Yeezy. He gives the fans what they’ve been waiting for, good ol’ Kanye.

Coming into this album, I didn’t know what to expect. I had high hopes for the album based off the two G.O.O.D. Friday tracks he released (Real Friends and No More Parties in LA), but I still didn’t know what to think (after all is it Kanye West). Once the first note of Ultralight Beam began, I knew the album was going to be great. His inclusion of artists such as Desiigner  (who sounds a lot like Future) shows his adaption of the current trends in hip hop, while being true to the Kanye sound. 

 

Overall, I felt The Life of Pablo by Kanye West was a very well done album. From the production (including Madlib!!) to the lyrics, everything was top notch. I hope this is a step in the right direction for Kanye and his future recordings. I hope it evolves and becomes more unique, while still having that old Kanye feel. I know it’s a lot to ask for, but it’s Kanye.

 

 

The author

Shane Quaas

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