Go to the NEW FORUM
I don't wanna get all bent out of shape about this; I don't wanna over-hype it because I personally do that a lot. I've only had two listens to the full version.
But I'm happy I'm around for the release of this record, because honestly it feels like a landmark. In pop, in hip-hop and possibly beyond.
Not all of it hits immediately, but the production is up there with anything I have ever had the pleasure to listen to. It's untouchable in that respect. The record is funny, lewd and gripping. It's like an orchestral movement with tight verses and natural-feeling guest spots.
I need a few more spins before I can tell whether this is my album of the year, if not one of my favourites. The College Dropout was in my top 10 of the 00s but that took a while for me to realise quite how banging it was. I will say, however, that Kanye's ambition, scope and artistic finesse is almost unparalleled. He may be a dick, but the man is a genius. Those who love the new Sufjan, this one-ups it for sheer bravery.
It has grown on me a little after repeated listens, so that puts it on the level of Late Registration. The comparison to Sufjan Stevens for me only works in that both albums have songs that go on for too long (and in the case of West, feature too many other artists). Sprawling is not always a good thing.
Edit: My original post didn't make a lot of sense, fixed it a little.