So is the album any good? I mean yeah, it’s good. The real question is, what were you expecting? It’s always best to go into any Kanye project with zero expectations. Since his debut, the man has not exactly followed protocol or adhered to standards, he’s set his own. This is the same artist who dropped a classic, I mean for real a CLASSIC, in 2004, and then followed it up the next year with a completely different sound. Oh but Late Registration was still fire right? Sure, but why stick with that formula when you can change it up again for Graduation? And of course, following what some still call his best album he went completely past left field and into the parking lot for 808s and Heartbreak. So even expecting a sound similar to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy or Watch the Throne for this album will only cause confusion and disappointment.
First off, this is not a Kanye album. This is a compilation of different artists and sounds put together by the musical genius himself, so it’s incredibly diverse and as usual, very different from whatever else is out there. I’m not one for song-by-song reviews but basically if you’re looking for an album full of “Mercy” and “Clique” it won’t happen. The bangers were released already, that’s why they’re singles, while something like “Sin City” or the beautiful “The One” are album cuts. “New God Flow” is the song of the year, with the added Ghostface verse pushing it over the top, and as hilarious as it was, removing Kanye’s call-and-response to himself was the right move. The rest you gotta check for yourself, but make sure you go in with an open mind and remember that this is the same man responsible for completely changing his style multiple times, and creating 5 classic albums in the process.
In all honesty this has been a weak year for hip hop. I personally didn’t like the second MMG effort although following a lot of great reviews I think I may have skimmed through it rather than really listened to it. I covered the Slaughterhouse mess already and I should have known that Rick Ross couldn’t follow up a truly flawless album with anything less than a semi-disappointment. And nobody wants to hear Nas in 2012 other than unemployed college students and 35 year old auto mechanics so save that Life is Good shit for someone who can tolerate 70 minutes of “back in the day I wore British Knights”. With nothing on the horizon for the end of the year aside from what could be the return of the classic rap soundtrack and an album from the most consistent member of the Wu-Tang, this G.O.O.D. Music disc might be all we got to take us into 2013, and like most Kanye albums it’s probably a good thing we have so much time to digest it as it usually takes a minute to really get everything he’s doing on an album. Genius don’t take one spin to realize.
Oh and speaking of genius, there’s no way that Ghost and Rae essentially spitting back to back on Cruel Summer is a coincidence, that’s gotta just be more of the brilliance of the greatest artist of our time.