Kanye West doesn’t give the listener a second to realize the album is more a masterly response to a masterpiece than a masterpiece itself. With one sweep of the hand, West brushes away expectations. And then he sticks you squarely across the face.
It’s an album for the books, one that indicates West’s hunger for exploration while always sounding like it could become extraordinarily popular, even for him. This is the level that things could be at.
Faced with making a career defining album, he opted for a palette of uncommercial sounds and ideas that takes his artistry to a level unparalleled in hip-hop (and pop music, for that matter).
Noisy, gripping, maddening, potent, audibly the product of, as he put it "giving no fucks at all", Yeezus is the sound of a man just doing his job properly.
With every successive album, Kanye West somehow summarises his entire career while simultaneously staying years ahead of the game.
On Yeezus, he trades out smooth soul and anthemic choruses for jarring electro, acid house, and industrial grind while delivering some of his most lewd and heart-crushing tales yet.
Despite its surface severity, it’s a lean, immediate record, its brevity a sharp contrast to 2010’s wandering My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
As much as he pushes the envelope aesthetically, Yeezus isn’t quite the hardcore manifesto that early signs indicated.
Yeezus is audacious, ornery and miles outside of what’s expected from Kanye West, and often what’s conventionally accepted in Hip Hop.
Whether West intends to expose his vulnerabilities and imperfections as an artist and as a person is irrelevant: West always goes for the top. Yeezus is no different – and it’s brilliantly flawed for doing so.
Yeezus is an extravagant stunt with the high-art packed in, offering an eccentric, audacious, and gripping experience that's vital and truly unlike anything else.
‘Yeezus’ is so tight, so bold, that with a few tweaks Kanye could’ve made his rock for the ages. As it is, he’ll have to settle for one of the best records of the year.
On Yeezus, West invites us to the decadent, bonkers bachelor party of his dreams; it's an all-id affair where his dick barely stays zipped up inside his black leather jeans.
Yeezus is the darkest, most extreme music Kanye has ever cooked up, an extravagantly abrasive album full of grinding electro, pummeling minimalist hip-hop, drone-y wooz and industrial gear-grind.
It’s dark as anything but able to turn uplifting at any moment, synths and drum machines giving way to choral samples as if it’s the most natural thing in the world.
Those looking for vintage soul sounds or even full-on raps from start to finish will be thrown several curves here. It’s an album with numerous emotional layers as well.
A hypnotic and addictive record created by an over-excited, totally unhinged mastermind with almost unlimited resources at his disposal.
If there’s anything Mr. West finds completely alien to his person, it’s restraint, and Yeezus is the perfect, chaotic, and ultimately uncompromising dive into this world.
While it might not be his most enjoyable album, I think time will show it to be his most important.
It's Kanye doing what he does best, but it's also the sound of a rapper pushing himself for all his worth. Ranging from intimidating to wonderfully eye-opening, it's always forthright, and it barely falters.
Yeezus ranks as more than a glorified placeholder in West's catalogue, but one can't help feeling that parenthood will compel his muse to even more Olympian levels of bombast and grandiosity.
By laying out his neuroses unvarnished for the world to see, what Kanye has created is the most honest – and yes, at times dislikable – record of his career.
With Yeezus clocking in at a short 40 minutes, Kanye achieves his goal of creating a stripped-down, minimalist project; there’s nothing extra or out of place here. More importantly, Kanye makes it abundantly clear that he’s still got a lot to say, and a lot of new ways to say it.
West’s albums have always taken a while to unfold their many, usually extraordinary layers, but even on first listen it’s a hell of a ride.
Electronic music has been pulsing its way through rap, and with his sixth solo effort, Kanye swoops in like an alien Phoenix and mops the floor with everyone in the process.
Yeezus is a challenging album. Usually when people say that, they imply that there will be a reward for closer listening, but I’m not sure that there is with this album.
Although West has made some bold moves with this album, a few weak tracks and the occasional lack of focus on the lyrical front prevent this from achieving the untouchable status that My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy did.
Yeezus is a good effort, but falls short of the masterpiece we were looking for.
It’s certainly his boldest, most provocative record in a career as a bold and provocative musician. Its political backbone will gradually become appreciated and with time and it may even become canonised as Kanye’s most important record.
Ultimately, we’re dealing with a record as messy as Yeezy himself, which is the point.
It’s a dense, difficult listen, nigh impossible to compare to the rest of Kanye West’s work, and its rewards come slowly.
No, ‘Yeezus’ isn’t a great record, but it doesn’t have to be. As with any Kanye recording, he dares to be different and sets a pace for others to follow.
From a production perspective, it's a smash. The beats remain head-spinning. But 'Ye's lyrics feel lazy rather than merely drawled, and he's seeking social-commentary cred that he hasn't earned.
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|# 1 -||TIME|
|# 24 -||Time Out London|
|# 5 -||Tiny Mix Tapes|
|# 17 -||Uncut|
|# 29 -||Under the Radar|
|# 11 -||Urban Outfitters|
|# 1 -||Exclaim! (Hip Hop)|
|# 2 -||FACT Magazine (2010-2014)|
|# 6 -||NME (2010-2014)|
|# 8 -||Pitchfork (2010-2014)|
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|# 2 -||Pretty Much Amazing (First Half 2013)|