Friday, December 10, 2010

Year-End Lists

As a music-fan/blogger-douche I adore year-end lists. Top 10 local albums, top albums, best songs of the year, best shows, best list etc. This time of year it seems as though everyone has a list for something music-related and I like that. However, I find it annoying that Kanye West's latest LP seems to be topping so many lists this year. First Rolling Stone magazine (remember Rolling Stone?) gave the album 5 stars, then Bitchfork gave it a 10.0 and now all sorts of media outlets are calling it the best album of the year. Now, I know that no publicity is bad publicity so I'm actually promoting the LP simply by writing this bitch-fest but I have a hard time believing that of every album that came out this year it is the best. We can all agree that musical tastes are quite subjective and calling one piece of art better than another is pretty silly but let me give you my top 10 reasons why it won't be topping this blogger's list. In fact, even though I truly enjoy the album I won't be including it in my top 10 albums of the year out of shear principle. With that I give you my 10 reasons why I won't be adding My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy to any best of list on this site.

10. Self-Indulgence

Runaway is a great song, it's catch it has a good hook the production is nice but 9+ minutes?!?! I mean, the first 20 seconds is the same note! Also, I don't know about you but once it hits about minute marker 5:45 I just skip to the next track. That outro is just aural masturbation. The video for Runaway, which lasts roughly 35 minutes is the perfect example of Kanye's self-indulgence:

Kanye West - Runaway video via YouTube

9. So Appalled

The 7th track on the LP entitled, So Appalled has several emcees, none of whom can properly pronounce the word, "ridiculous", which is both ironic and irritates me SO much I have to skip the track. I know it's a silly reason but it's a reason why the LP doesn't deserve perfect marks from lazy reviewers.

8. Faux self-deprecation

I'm going back to Runaway on this one again. Even when Kanye is being self-deprecating he's saluting himself. You can't humble yourself and toast yourself simultaneously even if it's tongue-in-cheek. It's like saying, "Sorry you were insulted by what I said." That's not the same as an apology.

7. The Cover-Art

This reason requires no explanation, does this look like the artwork for the best album of the year to you?

6. Pairing Rihanna w/a song in which you hit a woman

The song I'm referring to is track 5 called All of the Lights. The chorus is sung by Rihanna and one of the first lyrics is, "...I slap my girl, she call the Feds..." Ummm, even though Kanye is in character in this song I just find that to be in poor taste to say the least. Also, it's not the only reference to violence against women on the album.

5. Hell of a Life

It's not that track 10 is terrible but it certainly wouldn't be on the best album of the year.

4. You made John Legend sing what?!?!

Like many people, I adore John Legend. He is featured on the track the Blame Game and hearing him sing "I'll call you bitch for short, as a last resort and my first resort, you call me motherfucker for long..." just seems like a waste of his talents.


For those of you who don't know what TLDR means, it stands for "Too Long Didn't Read". When I notice that almost have the songs on your album approach and/or breach the 6 minute mark I'm thinking at least 90 seconds of most of those songs are just wasting my time.

2. Wasting Bon Iver

So, you get Justin Vernon to guest on your record and all you do is bury his vocals and then sample a song of his that uses Auto-Tune? How did this collaboration even occur? Hey, you like Auto-Tune? I like Auto-Tune too! Let's hang out. The first time I heard the beat kick in on Lost in the World it just made me laugh. You made a disco, club-banger out of a beautiful, delicate song? Really?

1. Over-use of the word pussy

From the 2-3 minute sample of Chris Rock going on and on about pussy to Kanye's line about "Pussy and religion is all I need" as a gay man and a feminist I'm sooo over the subjugation of women on this album. You know Kanye surrounding that pussy is a woman, she has a brain and most likely a family and she has emotions too. To quote Kanye himself on this, and other issues of feminist theory: "I don’t know what it is with females, but I’m not too good at that shit"

In conclusion yes I just dedicated an entire post to critique the latest Kanye West LP but what I'm REALLY critiquing is the human-centipede-esque best of lists this year. It's like one magazine is eating and shitting in to the mouth of the next and so on and they're all drawing the same conclusions. I do enjoy Kanye's latest and greatest effort but I don't find it to be the best LP of the year and I think all of these media outlets ranking it number one have short attention-spans to put it lightly. The ten reasons above are why it won't even appear in my 10 best albums of the year list. Also, I just dedicated this entire post to promoting the LP, so I don't really need to include it in any lists, right?

Oh, and Kanye, if you're reading this, you obviously have too much time on your hands, no one reads this website. Don't take yourself so seriously.