The Life of Pablo - Album Review
The Life of Pablo is a critically acclaimed album by Kanye West. Released on February 14th, 2016 by Roc-A-Fella Records, GOOD Music and Def Jam Recordings, The Life of Pablo is considered by some to be Kanye’s best album. Personally, I think it is a good album but not his best. According to Kanye, while speaking to the Breakfast Club, Mr. West says “this album’s just embracing the music, embracing joy, and being of service to the people. I just hope that people like it and enjoy it, you know? That’s it.” The name of the album refers to the three personas that Kanye takes throughout the album: Pablo Picasso, Pablo Escobar and Paul the Apostle. The Life of Pablo took a different turn then most Kanye albums.
The 20 track album is a musical rollercoaster. Whenever you hear of a Kanye project you expect it to be different, to push musical boundaries that have never been pushed before. The Life of Pablo does that. For example, “FML”, Kanye’s track with The Weekend, is a track that fuses both artist unique styles. The Weekend describes his style as “that sexy downtempo vibe,” while Kanye steps out of his usually hip-hop style and reaches back to his My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy sound. The fusion between the two make a great song. What makes the song great is that neither artist is compromising their individual styles. The Weekend sounds like himself in this song and so does Kanye.
“No More Parties in LA” sounds like a classic Kanye track. A classic old school R&B beat plays while Kendrick Lamar and Kanye go bar for bar. This song is full of witty bars about women and their frustrations with fame and the fakeness of Hollywood. Quotables from “No More Parties in LA” are “Pink fur, got Nori dressin' like Cam/ Thank God for me /Whole family gettin' money, thank God for E!” Kanye not only references a rap great, Cam’ron, but he also highlights that his wife’s whole family is making money off the cable channel E! Entertainment Television.“I Love Kanye” and “Siiiiiiiiilver Surfffeeeeer” Intermission are very short songs; neither song is even a minute long. However, even though they are both short, they are still good tracks. “I Love Kanye” is all about Kanye talking about himself. It is a classic braggadocious track while “Siiiiiiilver Surfffeeeeer” is a conversation between Kanye and Max B. “Famous”, one of my favorite tracks on the album, is a song with Rihanna that has both R&B and Reggae beats. The beginning and the end of the song have the R&B beat while the middle samples Dancehall artist Sister Nancy track “Bam Bam”. The blend of R&B and Dancehall makes a smooth track. It can be argued that it is one of the best tracks on the album. Behind this track is a message that compares Kanye’s past when all he wanted to be was famous to the present time. Now Kanye could do without the fame since he feels like the fame kills his creative process.
The rest of the album is full of great tracks. Some of my favorites are “Wolves”, “30 Hours” and “Real Friends”. The best part if the album to me is that it not something you expect from Kanye. Kanye really pushed boundaries with this album and as times goes on we will appreciate this album more. It is no Late Registration but it is not supposed to be. Kanye is showing his growth in this album so it should not sound like the rest.