You know how every rap song on the radio right now seems like it's employing the whole voice effects-processor singing/rap? It kinda started with T-Pain's "Drank." Well, as that has been going on, there have been bright spots.
For instance, N.E.R.D.'s album was a wonderful mix of old-school influence mixed with 70s soul and tremendous beats.
And, you had always had Kanye West to lean on. But apparently, that might not be the case anymore.
I've been previewing tracks (that seem to be showing up all over the Internet) of Kanye's forthcoming 808s & Heartbreak, and, hate to say it: I'm really disappointed.
This is the guy who brought us smart-minded raps and rose above the pack for three straight discs and now, we've got an album that is 11 songs of this:
In fairness, that by itself is not a bad song. nor is it amazing, despite its title. The strongest tracks still use the annoying voice effects ("Streetlights") and the best song is the one being titles either "See You in My Nightmares" or "Tell Every One That You Know" (depending on who's reporting. The thing is, on that track L'il Wayne shows up and completely owns Kanye. I mean, you're on the next-to-last real track and there's finally some real energy and there's L'il Wayne showing why he's as good as some people who know say he is.
The inspired creativity of last year's Graduation is completely gone. This doesn't sound like the Kanye that traded lyrics with a Daft Punk sample on "Stronger." It sounds, in fairness, like a man disoriented from the loss of his mother.
Of course, that is understandable, but I'm not sure I want it to sound like that. Look no further than Ra Ra Riot to see a band coping with a death in a way that you at least want to listen to.
Anyhow, let's hope Kanye doesn't pull an Elvis and spiral out in the wake of losing his mom. I doubt he will. but let's also hope that some of these leaks I'm hearing aren't really the album tracks (though, that is becoming less likely from what I read).
Sometimes, it take a bit for an album to grow on me. Maybe this one will. But out of the box, so far, I want more than this.