- Late Registration

Kanye West - Late Registration
CRITIC SCORE
85
Based on 15 reviews
2005 Rank: #13 / 358
USER SCORE
87
Based on
416 ratings

WHAT DO YOU THINK?
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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.

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
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.

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
92
= 92.8 =

The College Dropout is "the world sucks but we don't care."
Late Registration is "though we don't care, the world still sucks."

Variety is what makes this album the gem I think it is; variety, and its rare quality of being consistently good despite this variety. West is a hustler and party-monster but he also shows his tenderest side, he is interested in SPAs and jewelery but he has a social conscience; he's confident and strong but the devil's always breathing on ... read more
ryansliao
80
Kanye kept the ship pointing straight ahead after College Dropout with this record. The beats are harder and the production noticeably cleaner and more polished. The jazz touches are absolutely brilliant on Touch The Sky and We Major. Kanye also makes better use of his features this time. All around, a slightly better album than his debut.

Best Tracks: Touch The Sky, Drive Slow, Roses, Bring Me Down, Diamonds From Sierra Leone, We Major
Worst Tracks: Celebration
GPellizzon
100
Yeah, Celebration has cringy lyrics but fuck it I won't give this a 99 because of that
94
For the last couple years, rap has become very anemic, the same rappers saying the same thing talking about how much ice they have and how many groupies they have scored with. Yawn. Then along came a guy with a backpack and a teddy bear mascot with the vibe of A Tribe Called Quest, by his own admission, and clever wordplay that rivals the Beastie Boys in their prime.
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DETAILS

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
Tags
END OF YEAR LISTS
# 2 - Pitchfork
# 1 - Rolling Stone
# 1 - SPIN
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)