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After listening to The Life of Pablo, there is only one thought that comes across: brilliant. After teasing fans with countless album title changes and getting into controversy over it with different artists, Kanye West shows he hasn’t lost his touch with music although some would argue he lost touch with reality. This eighth studio album by the 21 Grammy winner takes you on a journey like West never has before.
The album has sixteen songs. What makes a great album is a great intro and West delivers strongly. “Ultralight Beam” features Kirk Franklin, Kelly Price, and Chance The Rapper (who stands out most on the song.) Chance The Rapper’s verse on the song matches the strength of the trumpets bursting into the background. With repetitive words such as, “This is a God’ dream, this is everything” the listener gets a sense of a gospel album. Interlude “Low Lights” which has a woman praising God’s glory for two minutes also helps with this feeling. It is no plot twist as to why West tweeted a month ago, “This is actually a gospel album.”
It wouldn’t be Kanye West if his songs didn’t cause controversy. West looks for trouble with songs such as “Famous,” “Highlight,” and “Silver Surfer Transmission.” West casually implies on the song “Famous” that he is the reason Taylor Swift is famous. One would say maybe she was already famous despite her countless hits prior to West coming on stage and saying she didn’t deserve Best Video of the Year in 2009 at the VMA’s. In “Highlight” West implies that Ray J and himself would’ve been friends “If they ain’t love the same b****.” Last but not least on controversy, West throws in that interlude of “Silver Surfer Transmission,” which features a friendly phone call from Max B. Max B says to West that they have to continue being artists despite the industry. West wanted to clarify that if Max B is not mad for him wanting to name the album “Waves” as it angered other artists, then other opinions do not matter.
What makes The Life of Pablo great has to be the list of features, beat, and West’s delivery lyrically. This album has a lot of features including: Future, Chris Brown, Rihanna, Swizz Beatz, Desiigner, The Weeknd, and one of the greatest: Andre 3000. This album can be described as a mixture of The College Dropout for its interludes, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy for West’s lyrical delivery and Yeezus for the fantastic use of beats.
Because of the different feels of West’s previous albums, loyal Kanye West fans love the body of work, but are not sure if they love the album. Joseph Brown, 20, who has listened to West for years, made the interesting comment, “I like it if it was labeled as a mixtape, but as an album it is all over the place.” Brown went on to say, “You can tell he was all over the place by constantly changing the album title, working on his recent fashion show and having a second child.”
On the other side, there are people saying this is West’s greatest album yet. Deanna Walsh, 25, said “This has to be my favorite Kanye album thus far.” Walsh went on to say, “After listening to all of the albums, he found what failed in all of them and corrected them in this one.”
Overall, The Life of Pablo is an interesting body of work. Viewers question when West will officially release the album and if he will make any significant changes. Viewers are hoping there is a change for “30 Hours” which features Andre 3000, hoping that there is a hidden verse. West admits he is already working on another album before listeners have the chance to fully digest this one. The Life of Pablo is worth the listen as it displays West’s ability to stay in touch with music, his growth and versatility.