Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Categories: Nothing Not New

kanye west.jpg
Artist: Kanye West
Title: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Release date: November 22
Label: Roc-A-Fella

Fitting, perhaps, that Kanye West's new record, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, is one of the final 15 or so new records that I'll be listening to before this Nothing Not New project turns out the lights at the end of this month. The record represents a lot of what I don't get about modern popular music or, put a better way, what I don't get about what other people think is genius -- and people clearly think West is a genius.

Sorry, I just don't like the guy's music. My loss, I guess. But I just don't get it -- and it's not just that I'm generally not a fan of hip-hop. Given that the genre is mostly a mystery to me, I have to say that the self-importantly titled My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (though, admittedly, a perfect title for a Facebook-obsessed society that can't help explaining to the rest of the world what is constantly on its mind) is a pretty big drag. A long, bloated, humorless, profane, self-indulgent drag. I know, I know, self-indulgence is part of West's shtick. Recognizing that still doesn't make this record any less a chore to listen to.

My question to West is: Why so serious? Complaining about one's fame, as West does a lot on Fantasy, is certainly nothing new for the Tortured Artist, which is how West clearly posits himself. As a music fan, though, selling yourself as a put-upon bajillionaire is one of the most tired acts in popular music.

I suspect West may be singing, tongue not in cheek, about himself in the single "Runaway": "Let's have a toast for the douchebags / Let's have a toast for the assholes . . . Run away as fast as you can." I don't buy the self-deprecating bit, though, because West thinks he's the best thing to happen to music in at least a couple of generations.

I think West (or one of his collaborating peers) puts it best on "So Appalled," albeit not in the context he surely intended: "This shit is fucking ridiculous."

Kanye west - So appalled (feat. RZA JAY-Z Pusha T Swizz Beatz & Cyhi Da Prynce by WWW.VIIMAG.COM

Best song: "Power".
Rotation: Low
Deja vu: The Beach Boys "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times"
I'd rather listen to: Whaddaya got? Girl Talk? I'll take it.
Grade: D+

Nothing Not New" is a yearlong project in which New Times editorial operations manager Jay Bennett, a 41-year-old music fan and musician, will listen only to music released in 2010. Each Monday through Friday, he will listen to one new record (no best ofs, reissues, or concert recordings) and write about it. Why? Because in the words of his editor, Martin Cizmar, he suffers from "aesthetic atrophy," a wasting away of one's ability to embrace new and different music as one ages. Read more about this all-too-common ailment hereThe "Nothing Not New" Archives:

December 2 -- Sharon Van Etten: Epic (B)
December 1 -- OFF!: First Four EPs (A-)
November 30 -- Robyn: Body Talk (B+)
November 29 -- Steve Wynn & the Miracle 3: Northern Aggression (A-)


November 16 -- Stereolab: Not Music (B-)
November 15 -- The Fresh & Onlys: Play It Strange (C+)

November 12 -- Podcast #10

November 4 -- Salem: King Night (B+)
November 3 -- Matt & Kim: Sidewalks (C-)


October 27 -- The 88: The 88 (B)

October 26 -- Warpaint: The Fool (B+)




September 28 -- No Age: Everything in Between (A-)







































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9 comments
Benjo Widwitz
Benjo Widwitz

humorless? "too many urkels on your team/that's why your wins low" might be the funniest lyric i've heard, ever.

Kanyeisepic
Kanyeisepic

@Jay Bennett, Im sorry but for a music writer your an ahole and seem unopen to new sounds. I promise you 20 years from now there will be a new artist and there will be a old bitter ass critic, and that critic is going to say the same shit you are saying, man if you like 90's music, cool. but this is some new shit. all them artist sounded the same. music in the 90's all sounds the same. kanye on some new shit. and you dont have to like it, but you a hater. he even gives what i call an ode to ironman on HELL OF A LIFE---pussy and religion is all i need, NEW TIMES needs a new writer/critic or whatever it is you do. if u know it why dont you make it jerk.

linaimai
linaimai

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Stupid
Stupid

@Jay Bennett KILL YOURSELF

Whatdaeff
Whatdaeff

YOUR F**KIN CRAZY. new kanye records is beyond hot. this is how people are feeling. BLAME GAME. RUNAWAY. GORGEOUS. HELL OF A LIFE. epic records. power. like ed lover says,"C'MON SON." like jay says,"You need more people, we dont believe you." Get the f**k outta here with this whack ass review.

DylanMV
DylanMV

U serious? I'm so appalled by this review. power is not the best song on the album. Tired, self indulgent drag? if you don't even have any appreciation for the genre, then just don't even bother trying to convince the reader that this well constructed and produced album is an irrelevant piece of crap by posting this bogus review. Just leave the guy alone and Go listen to Creed and Nickelback you prick

phillipnguyen
phillipnguyen

everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but with all the positive reviews out there— anyone giving this album lower than a C rating just hates kanye.

but what deserves a D+ is the writer's credibility now.

Hershyindahous82
Hershyindahous82

Maybe I don't understand this site...but did u seriously just give Kanye's album a D+!?!?!?

If so, you're simply frickin RETARDED!!!

27yroldkwfan
27yroldkwfan

if you know good music so much then why arent you making your own music, how come you didnt sell 600k first week in the free music age. how every other well respected music publications gave the record hella props but you better than the rest of us now. u know good music and we dont. f off.

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