Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy


· Is it weird to feel that My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy should have gotten 5 stars from the disposable pop/aging rock star caterers at Rolling Stone but not a 10.0 from Pitchfork? I know that’s totally hypocritical and says more about how I think of the standards those two sources set than the actual music, but seriously. It is a great album, but perfect? Does that include 3 minutes of Chris Rock being only kind of funny?

· This is, no doubt, the first perfect score handed out by both Rolling Stone and Pitchfork to a new release. If I’m wrong about that please let me know, but I don’t think it’s ever happened. Maybe they’re joining forces…

· It may be a reductive way of thinking, but does a 10.0 make MBDTF the best album released, in their eyes, since 2002’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, the last new album to receive a perfect score? Granted, I’m sure Pitchfork would probably go back and re-evaluate the scores in hindsight given to Funeral and Person Pitch and a few others they and everyone have championed, but they knew perfectly well just how much hype (for themselves) they’d stir up with that rating.

· Similarly, where would Rolling Stone rank MBDTF among several of the other recent 5 star albums they’ve awarded, like Mick Jagger’s Goddess in the Doorway and Springsteen’s Magic? Yikes, now do you see what I mean with point #1? If you ask me those geriatric RS editors need to be a bit more discerning….

· The music – oh yeah! A common gripe with Ye that you hear is that he’s not a great rapper. I’m far from the hip-hop expert who can compare one MC’s flow to another’s, but I can recognize Kanye isn’t Ghostface, or Nas, or Jay-Z on the mic. But I love the guy’s style – he’s intelligent, brutally honest, completely egotistical, and funny as hell and it all comes through on every one of these songs.

· No, Kanye West isn’t the only ambitious artist making music in 2010, but he’s up there with the very best. I’ve had no desire to listen to anything else for the past 5 or 6 days now.

· West may be a douchebag, an asshole, a scumbag, and a complete jackass (as no one less than the President of the United States of America called him), but when you can walk the walk…

· I think it’s kind of hysterical that Kanye wants to be considered the greatest artist of his generation, makes music that actually merits consideration in that discussion, and then goes out and pisses off, like, 80% of America with his antics. It’s his inability to be a “good” celebrity (as Jay-Z has become) that both makes him fascinating and holds him back.

· Am I the only one who thinks the cover art is the first time Kanye has ever put something even worth looking at twice on top of a record? Now that’s perfect…

· Along with Late Registration, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy makes a case for West as one of music’s most visionary, exciting, talented, self aware, and dysfunctional artists. Getting past all this other nonsense, it’s easily one of the year’s best collections of songs. And that's what it's all about. So I think it's time for us to have a toast....

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3 comments:

ariel said...

Kid A (original release) and OK Computer (Collector's Edition because Pitchfork wasn't around in '97) received 10s from Pitchfork. Kid A and original release of OK Computer both received 5 stars from Rolling Stone. I'm not a big Kanye fan, but I'm definitely going to have to give this record a listen, but I agree with you...perfection is a very delicate thing to mess around with. cheers.

James said...

Ariel,

Kid A got 4 stars from RS and a 10.0 from PF. Just looked it up. Cuz I'm a dork. There's no way RS was that "with it" in 2000 to give Kid A 5 stars - they were too caught up in Britney Spears. 4 stars is their "safe" score for records they know are great from artists they can't put on the cover because the mag won't sell to their audience.

ariel.s said...

hmmm, i looked it up also, albeit online, before posting so not sure where you checked (or, more importantly, which is correct). I remember RS doing a cover story on them after Kid A claiming they re-invented rock with the record so 5 stars wouldn't be that surprising, but it also wouldn't surprise me if RS *updated* its reviews...haha.

check it -
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/artists/radiohead

in looking again, it appears that the same scenario occurred for The Bends as did OK Computer (Pitchfork gave 10's to both reissues).