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Played it at the start of the week. Maybe it's just because I know most of the lyrics, or that the tracks are more familiar, but having not played it since almost Christmas, it was like greeting an old friend. It's just...the best fucking album. Seriously, The College Dropout was top 10 of the 00s for me but this runs it awfully close. Can't wait til it claims it rightful place as AM's no.1 of 2010, and I would not be surprised if - failing a musical revolution - it's a good top 10/5 contender for the decade in nine years. The rhymes, the production, the twists and turns, even its slight bloat is endearing.
In short: still goes harder than a midget jumping over me.
For a while MBDTF was close with LCD's "This is Happening" for my number 1 album of 2010. Around January, MBDTF overtook LCD Soundsystem and then started climbing even higher. It's now my favorite Kanye album, and my second favorite hip-hop album of all time (right behind Jay-z's "The Blueprint") Based on its position in my all time albums list, if it was released last decade it would be my number 12 of 2000-2009. It's currently my number 58 album ever though. And as new albums tend to rise over time in my lists, I can seriously see it cracking my top 40 albums of all time sometime not too far off. It's easily the most played album in my car. No other album (or mix CD) even comes close to the sheer number of plays it's gathered. And the thing is, no matter how many times I hear it, I never get tired of it. Never. I've never heard any production even comparable to MBDTF's production.
The run of songs from "Gorgeous" to "Monster" has to be one of the best runs in any hip-hop album ever. My only criticism is that sometimes there isn't enough Kanye! As much as I like "So Appalled" I wish Kanye had a bigger part. Maybe trim down some of the guest spots on that song. But the verses are so good I could never choose with guest spot to skip over! Oddly enough, "All of the Lights" with a grand total of 11 guests (and possibly the only song to ever feature both Elton John and Fergie) never ever feels crowded. Somehow, the guests avoid being shoehorned in. Everyone has their room to breathe. For most hip-hop artists out today, a song like "Gorgeous" would be their career highlight. For MBDTF, it doesn't even reach my top 5 songs off the album! And then there's "Lost in the World", which sounds like nothing else ever even thought of in hip-hop. Overall, I'd rank the tracks like this...
Dark Fantasy- 7.5/10
All of the Lights/ Interlude- 8.5/10
So Appalled- 8/10
Devil in a New Dress- 7.5/10
Hell of a Life- 8/10
Blame Game- 8/10
Lost in the World/ Who Will Survive in America- 9/10
Still my favorite album of the decade. Still the best album of the last 5 years.
Still a good, solid album. I originally rated it a 9/10, maybe now an 8. Kanye's best, definitely. Good wordplay in general but a little too self conscious, and very inconsistent.
I think it will gradually drift down to the status it actually deserves once people get over the shock of the initial hype saturation. People will be listening to it objectively rather than in the stream of his personal controversy.
I can't believe we've gotten to the point in this world where the kind of lyrics Kanye drops on this album (f-this, my d*ck that, pu**sy this, hooker that) are considered acceptable and even great. How embarrassing if you like this crap.
I still feel like I'm missing something on this album. Don't get me wrong, it's great (it was my number 6 of last year), but I get bored through parts of it and others are so eye-rolling ridiculous I can't get past them. I much prefer the College Dropout or Late Registration.
Even when he's vulgar it's hilarious:
"All of y'all who tried to blackball me, you forgot about two things: my black balls."
I don't mind the lyrics, on the contrary. I like the album, but I just don't think it's the great stand-out album of 2010 like a lot of other people. But that's just a matter of taste...
Remaining perfectly honest, after listening the whole album three times. I put 1/10 to this music. Only one song listenable in all his album : "runaways".
And for the "hype", it's clear it make a lot for the success of this album. When you see the no-hype of MBDTF out of the USA, you can understand why "power" or "monster" don't success outside this country. I've never heard these songs on tv or radio for exemple and I don't even know he released an album before I come to AMF.
Yes, I don't like hip hop, but the Janelle Monae album for example feel much better with four songs I found excellent.
It's just an opinion from someone who does not love this album, I found MBDTF very very poor.
I personally don't care at all about the hype around Kanye West, in fact I find some of his statements quite deplorable. But I can deny his greatness as a musician.
Probably most of the merits of this particular album should rely in his way of working collectively with other musicians and producers, a method that Q-Tip defined as "music by committee". Hope you don't mind if a copy and paste a long fragment of Wikipedia about the recording of the album:
"Recording sessions took place primarily at Avex Recording Studio in Honolulu, Hawaii (...) West, who had previously recorded at Avex for 808s & Heartbreak, block-booked the studio's three session rooms indefinitely to work on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. According to Noah Callahan-Bever, who visited West during the recording sessions, "when he hits a creative wall... he heads to another studio room to make progress on another song". He often worked through the night and napped in the studio, and recording engineers were present behind the mixing board 24 hours a day. (...) West held breakfast each morning at his Diamond Head residence for his crew. Throughout the album's development, West elicited other producers and musicians to weigh-in on its music with conversations and contributions at the studio. In observing discussions among them during his visit, Callahan-Bever noted that "Despite the heavyweights assembled, the egos rarely clash; talks are sprawling, enlightening, and productive [...] we are here to contribute, challenge, and inspire". In an interview with Callahan-Bever, Q-Tip described the process as "music by committee" and elaborated on its significance to the sessions and West's work ethic, stating:
He'll go, ‘Check this out, tell me what you think.’ Which speaks volumes about who he is and how he sees and views people. Every person has a voice and an idea, so he's sincerely looking to hear what you have to say—good, bad, or whatever. [...] when he has his beats or his rhymes, he offers them to the committee and we're all invited to dissect, strip, or add on to what he's already started. By the end of the sessions, you see how he integrates and transforms everyone's contributions, so the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. He's a real wizard at it. What he does is alchemy, really."
The quality of the music has nothing to do with his media antics. If you read reviews in publications like Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, etc, they only talk about his media antics and barely even mention that it is a music album.
Fifty years from now, nobody will care that Kanye ran on stage during an award acceptance speech or that he hijacked a charity event. Just like nobody cares now that the Beatles ran out of one limo and into another one. They'll listen to the album and decide whether they like it based on the content of the album, and that's also how we should be judging it now.
But, there are a couple songs on that album I think are among the best of the year. Power, 'Douchebags' whatever the song title is. But there are also clunkers like 'Blame game'. When I listen to it I'm tempted to just jump to the best singles.
I predict this will be top 3 on the decade end list polls in 8 years, 8 months. Just wait.
I predict the popularity of MBDTF will follow the path of the popularity of grunge.
I don't have a problem with the vulgarity of the lyrics. But, I do have a problem with it's message of self importance. That always turns me off and it's why I loved the production but hated what it was trying to say. I have no interest in how Kanye West feels about himself or how he perceives the world feels about him.
Still like MBDTF, bot love----> NO. Sure it was a big flashy album, but I find many of its lyrics kind of drag after repeated listens. Sufjan Stevens "The Age Of Adz" is still the best album of this young decade.
Don't get me wrong, I think MBDTF is a very good album. I had it in my year end top 30, and one or two songs from it in my songs top 10.
I do think the album will continue to be rated highly by the people hearing it now, as is Nevermind by the people who first heard it in 1991. But, I just think that new listeners ten years from now won't be as impressed by it.
Also, I have a hard time imagining that it will end up higher on the all time list than Marshal Mathers LP. I listened to it in full for the first time yesterday, and I liked it a lot more than I expected. If I have to pick one rapper who is really good at rapping about his own hype, Kanye would not take the trophy.