My 50 Favorite Albums of 2008: #17

Number 17

In today’s world of the popular stars of hip-hop/rap/whatever you want to call it, Kanye West has earned his spot on top of the mountain. However, what I have considered him all along and what he is now starting to make people try and understand a little better – is that he is an artist and a musician, and he will not be one to limit himself to one stapled genre. Some cannot get into his music because they cannot tolerate his demeanor or constant public hazards, and then there are the others, who used to be major fans but are slipping more and more with each passing album. Still, I think that wherever you are regarding Mr. West and his music, it’s impossible to argue with his impact and complete domination of all aspects of this particular world. In my opinion, I believe he has only gotten stronger as his confidence has grown to a staggering level, and now that he has seen what it looks like on top of the hip-hop hill, he is ready to explore other avenues of artistry, as all of the great minds must do at some point. 808s & Heartbreak is a product of one man’s personal devastation, and nothing more; and if you can even remotely relate to an inch of what he’s putting on display here you’ll be an immediate fan of not only the material, but of the daring new direction he has went. The auto-tune effect to vocals has been widely used in a ton of platinum hits in American music over the last 15 years or so, but it’s never sounded like there was a purpose for it until now, with Kanye including it as a necessary ingredient to every little bit of 808s, showing us that it can indeed be a worthy effect – even a defining enhancement – like it is here, being the foundation to the soundtrack of an emotionally crumbling individual. “Say You Will” is such a daring exclamation to those expecting anoher record full of the familiar beats and production found on crowd-pleasers “Jesus Walks” and “Gold Digger”, and ushers in a slow, six-minute dissection of what we can only describe, simply, as heartbreak. Not to say this record is without its fair share of outstanding beats, because it certainly has a ton of them – there’s just an entirely different mood. He’s a massive figure in not only the hip-hop world, but in allof music; and here he has shown us another of what I can only assume will be an endless number of sides to his brilliance.

1.Say You Will
2.Welcome To Heartbreak
5.Love Lockdown
8.Street Lights
9.Bad News
10.See You In My Nightmares
11.Coldest Winter
12.Pinocchio Story


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