MC's Music Notes Header


Hip Hop Honeys

Powered by Blogger

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Album Review: Graduation by Kanye West

"I've been a very good sport, haven't I this year?" Kanye raps on one of his newer tracks titled: "Barry Bonds".  In his own words, Kanye West claims he's been rather quiet the past year, which is true.  Less controversy and less whining about awards has gone on for the superstar over the past year, and now he emerges from that quiet time with another great album release.

"Graduation" is the third release from artist Kanye West and is aptly titled, as Kanye continues to mature in his superstardom and sound.  It opens with "Good Morning", which contains an interesting Elton John sample and has an inspiring beat and sound to it that could become someone's morning alarm clock song.  From there the album embarks into some great musical experimentations, including the smash hit "Stronger" which has a pulsating dance beat sampled from Daft Punk.  "That don't kill me, can only make me stronger" Kanye chants on the hook in emphatic passion making it a strong anthem for workouts, clubs and life in general.  The album has been criticized by many as synth heavy, but you'll find that present on only a few of the tracks with the songs having various styles to them.

Other standouts on the album will be the follow-up single 'The Good Life" featuring T-Pain, "I Wonder" and "Champion" where Kanye discusses reaching your dreams.  There is even an ode to his mentor, Jay-Z, in the form of the track "Big Brother" where Kanye discusses how Notorious Big was Jay-Z's big brother and then Jay-Z become Kanye's big brother.  On "Homecoming" Kanye enlists the services of Coldplay's Chris Martin to sing the hook.  Several other rappers have had Martin sing on their albums before and failed, but Kanye succeeds.  There is also a track which seems to have no drums present and a catchy piano beat called "Everything I Am".  Another musical experimentation and not seen so often in the hip-hop genre. Kanye even claims on the beat that he originally was giving this to fellow rapper Common but ended up keeping it for his own album.

Overall, Kanye West continues to show his musical genius.  He isn't afraid to experiment with new sounds in hip-hop, while other artists continue to use the same sounds and concepts.  I wouldn't quite say this album surpasses Kanye's first two albums which can be considered classics or near-classics, but this album is definitely worth owning to embark on another great musical journey.

Pick up a copy of Graduation at to check out Kanye's latest release.

Labels: , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button
AddThis Feed Button