West and Brion are a good, if unlikely, match. Brion's string arrangements and brass flecks add a new dimension to West's beats without overshadowing them, and the results are neither too adventurous nor too conservative.
In the end, it’s West’s dogged vision that makes it a success. He never acts before he deliberates, and never leaves a detail unpolished.
He steps up his lyrical game, shows off his epic production skills, reaches higher, pushes harder and claims the whole world of music as hip-hop turf.
With the help of co-producer Jon Brion, West has taken his jumbled personae, buoyant enthusiasm, and vision for the grandiose, and transformed his chattering, seemingly unrealistic ideas into an expansive, imperfect masterpiece.
Late Registration is more cumbersome and burdened than its predecessor — a little less cohesive, a lot less fun — but it rarely fails to engross at nearly every step.
‘Late Registration’ is a solid set. And by freshening up his style without entirely abandoning it, West still has the rest of the rap world playing catch-up.
From a technical and musical standpoint this is definitely stronger than his debut, but what is that worth when you just can’t feel it? Don’t get me wrong, it is still a really good album…it just isn’t a really great one.
Late Registration is a mainstream shot at being bigger than genre boundaries, a larger-than-life, lavishly funded attempt at erasing the stagnation that's come from nearly a decade of hip-hop having changed mostly through internal factionalizing.
Late Registration's salvation (and, undoubtedly, Kanye's own) are when it basks in the sunshine after the rain.
|# 26 -||Consequence of Sound (2000s)|
|# 18 -||Pitchfork (2000s)|
|# 58 -||Pitchfork: The People's List|
|# 40 -||Rolling Stone (2000s)|
|# 118 -||Rolling Stone (All Time)|
|# 100 -||Spin (1985-2009)|
|# 104 -||SPIN (1985-2014)|