Late Registration
Kanye West - Late Registration
Critic Score
Based on 15 reviews
2005 Rank: #13 / 360
User Score
Based on 495 ratings
August 30, 2005 / Release Date
LP / Format
Roc-A-Fella / Label
Kanye West, Jon Brion, Devo Springsteen, Just Blaze, Warryn Campbell / Producer
Hip Hop / Genres
kanyewest.com / Website
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
AllMusic

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.

100
Paste

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. 

100
Rolling Stone

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.

100
The Guardian

Like the rest of Late Registration, Drive Slow suggests an artist effortlessly outstripping his peers: more ideas, better lyrics, bigger hooks, greater depth.

95
Pitchfork

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.

83
Entertainment Weekly

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.

80
NME

‘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.

80
HipHopDX

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.

79
Coke Machine Glow

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.

70
PopMatters

Together, Brion and West have made the most musically ambitious hip-hop album since Outkast’s Aquemini. But what prevents Late Registration from achieving that unequivocal classic status is Kanye’s alter ego: Kanye, the rapper.

70
Slant Magazine

Late Registration's salvation (and, undoubtedly, Kanye's own) are when it basks in the sunshine after the rain. 

50
Drowned in Sound

For all Kanye's meditation on the wrongs of his upbringing and surroundings, you can't help but find that his statements ring a little hollow. Maybe it's the clinical production masking his rapping, but more likely it's that it just sounds forced.

Aug 16, 2017
DEEPSLEEP
85
Diamonds are forever

I may or may not be speaking from personal experience. There is music you'll listen to forever - it's the music that gives you butterflies when you spot it in your collection. You think to yourself, "Maybe just one song", but we all know it won't just be one song though. The lyrics, the sounds, every small detail comes to your mind as soon as the 1st song starts and you feel yourself lose control and become lost in the world, the world of Kanye.
Jul 30, 2017
BruhMan
97
Taking theese motherfuckers back to school!

FAVORITE TRACKS: Heard 'Em Say, Touch The Sky, Gold Digger, My Way Home, Crack Music, Roses, Addiction, Diamonds From Sierra Leone, We Major, Hey Mama, Gone & Late.

LEAST FAVORITE: Bring Me Down
Sep 24, 2015
exception
92
what an album... the variation on this project was just perfect. there were heartfelt songs like roses and hey mama, but there were also more upbeat songs like touch the sky and we major. the jazzy production was very fitting to the theme and vocals of this LP. my only complaint is that the skits were a little unnecessary. i liked the input of them, but they didn't seem to fit what was being said in the tracks before and after them. a really really enjoyable listen.
fav tracks: touch the ... read more
Oct 29, 2017
pouls
86
Late Registration might be for some just an improvement over The College Dropout and nothing else, but for me, this album is a major improvement that makes all the difference. The beats are more beautiful and stunning than in that album, and Kanye's lyrics read off to me as more interesting and memorable. The skits make this album slightly flawed, but it's still one of the most distinct, memorable, and influential albums of the 2000s.
Jul 7, 2017
85
Great follow-up to one of the best debuts in history.
END OF YEAR LISTS
#1/Rolling Stone
#1/SPIN
#2/Pitchfork
#8/NME
Track List
  1. Wake Up Mr. West 
  2. Heard 'Em Say 
  3. Touch The Sky
  4. Gold Digger 
  5. Skit #1 
  6. Drive Slow 
  7. My Way Home 
  8. Crack Music 
  9. Roses 
  10. Bring Me Down 
  11. Addiction 
  12. Skit #2 
  13. Diamonds From Sierra Leone 
  14. We Major 
  15. Skit #3 
  16. Hey Mama 
  17. Celebration 
  18. Skit #4 
  19. Gone 
  20. Diamonds From Sierra Leone (Bonus Track)
  21. Late (Hidden Track)