"Goodbyes" features the parting thoughts of our dearly departed editorial interns. Today Brendan M wants to discuss the dangers of too much Kanye on our plate.
2010 is coming to a close, and we are now knee-deep in the joyful season of top ten/twenty/fifty retrospective lists. Over the course of a few weeks, everyone that relates themselves to music in one way or another will be putting out their own unique list of the year's best albums along with their own insights as to why each record deserved a nod or two. Differentiation is the norm in most publications, sometimes stereotypically so (NME
loves Muse, Pitchfork loves that band you've never heard of/sounds like somebody recorded vomit). However, this year there is one consistent opinion coming from all, from the snobby to the blissfully underexposed: top honors go to Kanye West's unavoidable My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
dished out one of their legendary five star ratings when the album came ou,t so it comes as no surprise that West tops their list off. Spin
, known for their ubiquitous taste (from baby band to Taylor Swift), also gave the album their top spot. Pitchfork did too, even letting indie band-of-the-year Arcade Fire fall out of the top ten. Time Magazine
? They released a list of the ten best albums of the year and you can guess who topped that one. It seems infectious on every level... a few smaller blogs (like Pretty Much Amazing) have attempted to separate themselves by going with a different album but even those wouldn't dare putting Kanye anywhere lower than number two (we're guilty as well, as voted by you!). It isn't 100% unanimous but it's pretty clear that speaking via meta-critic, Kanye has the most lauded album of 2010.
The most surprising thing about all of this is the time frame. Kanye has achieved a year's worth of appreciation in just twenty short days. Today, it's near impossible to go anywhere without hearing at least one clip of MBDTF
... the grocery store, the gym, my Grandma's house, anywhere! Part of the equation is the promotional tactic; West did a fantastic job of building up the hype by continually staying in the public spotlight over the past year, with his incessant tweeting and his G.O.O.D. Friday free tracks.
It's no mystery we at Baeble really enjoyed My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
(it was number two on our list!
). Here are a few words on the album from editor Joe Puglisi:
Kanye West's album is everything it promises to be; dark, twisted, beautiful, and fantastic. Although the very raw 808's and Heartbreaks was much debated in its' merit, it was a strong indication that the artist had evolved beyond the process of just creating a beat and rapping over it. No stranger to thematics, no one should be surprised to see MBDTF is more of the same. What we have here is an extended synthesis of the melodic and the rhythmic, as fit for the club as it is fit for a quiet night of contemplation. Thus it feels authentic, honest, and powerfully personal, the question is not what or how. The themes that weave in and out of MBDTF, fame, power, love, (or lackthereof), are the gifts and curses of being the infamous Kanye West, and in many ways, the curses of being human.
Our worry is the flimsy legacy of something that is so good, it is practically shoved down our throats by the collective conscious. Everyone knows that too much of a good thing, or too much pretense, can lead to a backlash... we don't want to see this happen. So here is the plea: please, put the album down for a few days. Scroll past it on your iPod. Check out some other things. And when the time feels right, come back to it and see if it is still as awesome as it was when you left it. If that happens, then we know the album is everything we hoped it would be; an instant, yet timeless classic. -brendan mehan