Kanye West – The Life of Pablo: A Review

Well, it’s been about two weeks since The Life of Pablo came out. I know I said I’d write my review of TLOP soon after it released, but I was just learning from Kanye on how to keep the people waiting for what they want. Seriously though, I wanted to listen to the album in full multiple times to get a strong feel for it, so without further ado, here’s a track by track review of The Life of Pablo. If you haven’t streamed it off Tidal or found it somewhere online by now, you just need to get on that honestly. Here we go.

1. Ultralight Beam (ft. The Dream, Kelly Price, Chance the Rapper & Kirk Franklin)– This could arguably be my favorite intro song on any of Kanye’s seven albums. The album starts off with a gospel-rap track featuring a sample from a viral video of a young girl making a prayer, followed by a great verse from Kanye as well as Chance the Rapper. I literally get chills during Kelly Price’s solo – what a great voice. Chance also goes off on this song too. Overall, a very unique and powerful track.

2. Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1 (ft. Kid Cudi)-When I heard this song during the MSG Show stream, I was jumping up and down when I heard Cudi was on the chorus. Kanye starts off with some very abrasive yet hilarious lyrics, but that’s just another reason why I love him. My friend and I actually made a twitter parody account last week where we’ve made videos of random gun scenes in movies/tv shows and dubbed Future saying “If Young Metro don’t trust you I’m gon’ shoot you” over them. We made one with a clip from The Office and it ended up going viral (fuck you WorldStar for stealing our shit and not giving us credit). Anyway, this song bumps. Let’s move on.

3. Pt. 2 (ft. Desiigner)– I discovered Desiigner and his song “Panda” about a week before I heard this song during the MSG Show. When I heard Kanye sampled it, I was so hype. Desiigner is dope and this sample made Panda blow up, which it rightfully deserved. Kanye tweeted a picture of the lyrics to this song and shared that he cried while writing them because of the meaningful lyrics towards his father and his current role of father-hood. Overall, real turn up song.

4. Famous (ft. Rihanna)– You got Rihanna on the chorus, Kanye and Swizz Beats producing, and Kanye starting off the song with a diss to Taylor Swift?! Everything about this song is good vibes and I love that ending. Pretty much why this one of my favorite songs if not my favorite song of the album.

5. Feedback- This is another one of my favorite songs off TLOP. Idk why but the beginning beat kind of reminds me of “Crawling” by Linkin Park, which was/is a jam. Overall though Kanye gives two real hard verses on this one. The Ghetto Oprah goes 5/5 so far with this track.

6. Low Lights- I don’t understand why Kanye didn’t credit the person on this interlude but whatever. This is a pretty deep track for the parents, and got to some of the older folks at the MSG show. Overall though I tend to skip this track the most.

7. High Lights- Another one of my favorite songs on the album. Only complaint about this one, and with a few other songs on the album, is that I wish it were longer.

8. Freestyle 4 (ft. Desiigner)- I’m not too crazy about this song. Even though the end features Desiigner, this one is probably one of my lower ranked songs on the album.

9. I Love Kanye- The title says it all. I love this a capella, and I love Kanye.

10. Waves (ft. Chris Brown)- Another song I wish was longer. This song is so good, and even though it was the reason TLOP got pushed back, it was well worth it. Chris Brown kills it on the chorus, and it is just another track that brings great vibes. Top 5 song from the album for sure.

11. FML (ft. The Weeknd)- The Weeknd just belongs on this song. If there were any beat to have The Weeknd sing on off of this album, this one just feels so right for him. Although the ending of the song is kinda weird, I do enjoy this song overall.

12. Real Friends (ft. Ty Dolla $ign)- I lied earlier. This is for sure my favorite song off the album. This song is up there with Through the Wire for me. When Kanye released this song during the first GOOD Friday release for TLOP, I knew then that he wasn’t going to disappoint on this album (not that I ever doubted him). This song is so chill and I can’t help to think of the homies when this song comes on.

13. Wolves (ft. Sia & Frank Ocean)- Another darker sounding track that brings me back to Kanye’s 808 and Heartbreak days. One thing that I love about this album is that it has elements and themes from every Kanye album. Hearing Frank Ocean at the end, it’s just good to know that he’s been working on music, and hopefully a new album from him soon.

14. Silver Surfer Intermission- Not gonna review an intermission

15. 30 Hours (ft. Andre 3000)- Chillness level on this song is a 10/10. Such a relaxing song with Kanye going off and bringing in Andre 3000 later in the song to help him with the chorus.

16. No More Parties in LA (ft. Kendrick Lamar)- Kendrick + Kanye = All we need. Wouldn’t it be sick if they were to release an album together? Oh wait, apparently they have 40 songs recorded so I wouldn’t even be surprised. These guys combined their unreal talents to make one of the hardest songs on the album and I cannot wait to hear these alleged 40 songs. Definitely another one of my favorites off TLOP.

17. Facts (Charlie Heat Version) I like this version so much more than the Metro Boomin original version. The beat reminds me of Jumpman mixed with H.A.M., and Kanye goes ahead and destroys the Nike Brand. After him and Nike parted ways and he signed with Adidas, he’s shown no remorse for Nike. This is a pretty fun track overall, and has a lot of topical content that was relevant to the time of the recording, considering it was a spur of the moment recording with Metro Boomin’ originally. Definitely a song to get the party going.

18. Fade (ft. Post Malone and Ty Dolla $ign)- This song marks the conclusion of the album. I really like this song. Very cool, house-ish-feeling beat and another song that gets the people going (ball so hard). Post Malone and Ty Dolla are two real dope new rappers/producers and I’m hoping they have more projects with Kanye.

The Life of Pablo officially comes to an end. After numerous listens, TLOP is personally in my top 3 Kanye albums. From the production, to the features, to the variation in song feels, this album has it all. It is amazing to me that people don’t give Kanye the credit he deserves. Yes, he may be crazy on Twitter and might say some dumb shit, but he’s paved the way for so many musicians to express yourself freely. There aren’t many rappers/musicians that can say that they’ve made a song with someone in the Beatles, another song with gospel singers, another with musicians we loved since 2005, and musicians we’ve just heard for the first time that we’ll love till 2025. This “gospel album” is a collection of musical art, featuring some of the world’s greatest talents, brought together by one of the world’s greatest artists. Kanye recently announced on Twitter that he is releasing another album in the summer, so Yeezy Season will be back before we know it. Until then, let’s enjoy the greatness of this album, and become excited for what’s in store.

-AV

 

 

 

 

 

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