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CD REVIEW: Kanye West

808s & Heartbreak

December 9, 2008, 12:00 am

Roc-A-Fella Records

It’s no secret that Kanye West is kind of a whiner.

The egomaniac constantly takes to his blog to call out music critics who don’t absolutely adore him, gets into altercations with paparazzi and has been known to bitch when he doesn’t get the award nominations he feels he deserves. So what happens when West has a crappy year and needs to vent?
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Not surprisingly, he turns to music and paints a negative picture of his ex-girlfriend while he plays the innocent victim.

Unfortunately, for those who don’t want to justify that ego, what he has put out is really good. Showcasing West’s rebound relationship with a Roland TR-808, 808s & Heartbreak knocks the black eyeliner right off a typical emo kid. Real misery can be a blast, for everyone who isn’t the one suffering from it, that is.

The beats on 808s are the synthesized best the drum machine has to offer, and the manipulated vocals simultaneously hide and emphasize West’s suffering, which gives West the power to actually garner sympathy despite his truly fake stepped-on persona. Through this aural engineering, West gets to keep himself on his high horse while he no longer believes the words he pumped through radios over the summer with his bangin,’ upbeat and in-charge hit “Stronger.”

 

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