Originally posted by Brian P. DermodyThe bad? The skits. Again.
Christ, I wish rap/hip-hop artists would stop doing those. They just never come out well, and it seems that even the handful of people it might appeal to (morons) don't really want to hear them anyway.
Cuz if you got friends, and if they don't dance, well they're no friends of mine!
Originally posted by Brian P. DermodyThis may be the first CD I've purchased within the week it came out in... 5 years?
And manoman is it everything I was hoping for.
If you don't dance when you hear "Touch the Sky" you have no soul and may as well buy Pat Boone style white loafers.
The bad? The skits. Again.
But I have to give this a top recommendation.
Well, it is a good album (and the skits actually don't grate on me as much as they seem to grate on everyone else), but I must say that I'm at least slightly disappointed by this album. I wouldn't go as far as to put the "sophomore slump" label on it, but this album just isn't nearly as good as "College Dropout." I suppose that's to be expected, though, as "College Dropout" is one of my very favorite albums of all time. I need less "Bring Me Down" and "Roses" and more "Family Business" and "School Spirit."
As arrogant and cocky as Kanye West is, when he keeps putting out music like this it makes it hard to hate him completely. I guess you take the good with the bad; although if you've seen the MTV "All Eyes On Kanye West" you realize he's probably one of the only rappers who is totally honest in how he feels and what he says to anybody, including the media. At the same time though, his comments at the AMA's last year are prime material for Chapelle Show's "When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong." But I digress.
I feel that this album is on par if not better than "College Dropout" just because the entire album feels more focused and coherent. While Dropout had "All Falls Down" and "Family Business" it also had "New Workout Plan" and "Breathe In Breathe Out" which admittedly aren't horrible but were pretty forgettable and didn't mesh well with the album.
With Registration the production is more on point, with fewer blatant samples and I'm really digging the inclusion of the orchestral strings in a handful of the songs. This may be due to Jon Brion of Fiona Apple fame helping with a lot of the production. In a time when hip-hop/rap beats seem to be about heavy bass or getting crunk, this album's sound is incredibly sophisticated, mature, and refreshing.
Lyrically Kanye's pretty close to the top of his game with an awesome balance of killer punchlines, focused social/political topics, and a subtle consciousness and commentary on his new fame. This album is chock full of guest appearances with only 6 songs (counting the hidden track) featuring Kanye rapping solo. For the most part it's not a big deal with the only disappointment being Game's lack of an actual verse on "Crack Music." Paul Wall, Lupe Fiasco and Cam'ron are surprisingly listenable on their respective tracks. NaS & Jay-Z bring the goodness as usual.
As far as the skits go I can tolerate them a lot more because (like the last album) they actually have direction and take subtle jabs at Kanye's social views. When compared to other rap album's completely forgettable 5 second soundbites Registration's aren't that bad. Besides, you can always just skip em.
The 2 bonus tracks on the Japanese release "We Can Make It Better" and "Back To Basics" are both good, but the first features too many guest artists to actually let them develop a verse longer than 8 bars. (It's a shame too considering that its the only appearance for Talib and Mos Def on the album.) "Back To Basics" features Common, and at just under two minutes is lyrically there but nothing noteworthy.
I'm loving the whole album but the five songs that currently get the most play from me are: "Touch The Sky", "Diamonds Remix", "Roses", "We Major", and "Celebration."
(edited by Jericholic53 on 10.9.05 0040)
(edited by Jericholic53 on 10.9.05 0044) it says so right here in the wcw handbook!
I came extremely late to the accepting Kanye as artist bandwagon. I have always loved his tracks ("Encore" by Jay-Z isone of my faves) but felt that he was lyrically average at best and overhyped and arrogant to boot. He was like the newest incaration of Puff Daddy (back before he was P and then just Diddy)--superstar producer turned rapper--did he have the substance to sustain was the question.
I never bought College Dropout, although you simply could not escape the tracks from that album. I was probably the only guy in America who did NOT liek "Jesus Walks"-- (it always felt like a marketing ploy--if there is ANY way to get most urban folk to embrace you--invoke God!!)
That being said--I have Late Registration and am enjoying it. His approach to his own albums (very work-aholic, never completed, tweaking music and lyrics at the same time) is very reminiscent of Missy Elliot and Mariah Carey (whose talents you have to admire, if not their music). I can enjoy him, if for no other reason than he makes MUSIC--its a lot better than a lot of urban radio retread. I also enjoy his preppy image--it's very refreshing.