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Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Buy! - (Def Jam)
The rapper/producer’s 5th album is a hip hop tour-de-force that explores the dark sides of fame and romance, laying bare his many personal weaknesses, from his giant ego to his raging insecurity, things that continue to sabotage his own relationships and career. Blending live instrumentation with a wide variety of samples ranging from King Crimson and Black Sabbath to Bon Iver and Aphex Twin, the sound is huge, urgent and yes, dark and twisted, with prominent fuzzed-out guitar tones and some monstrous drum patterns. There are occasional echoes of his soul-drenched debut The College Dropout, the symphonic Late Registration, the electro-house and techno of Graduation and the robotic emo-R&B of 808s and Heartbreak. It’s all here and much, much more, including the finest rapping (and singing) of his career, not to mention his funniest lines since The College Dropout, along with his darkest lyrics ever. The album is complex, sonically adventurous and ruthlessly honest, and easily the best he’s made since the classic Late Registration. 11/16/2010 - Don Yates
Other Kanye West album reviews:

Yeezus - 6/21/2013
Graduation - 9/13/2007