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Archive for December, 2013

yeezus

Those first few seconds of Yeezus are the sound of Kanye West taking a knife to the fabric of social order.

The record opens in a blast of distortion, as if Kanye’s hijacked the airwaves to disrupt our regularly scheduled programming. It grabs you like the screeching of an emergency weather alert. Both sounds transmit the same message: Cut the forgettable pop jams. Listen up. We’ve got real matters at hand.

Think about that: Yeezus more readily recalls a siren designed to interrupt the radio than music you’d actually hear on the radio. Now try to think of another top-40 superstar who takes such great creative risks.

Yeezus plays like a loose concept album over its 40 dense minutes. Kanye begins the record as a club-addicted angry young man who “can’t wake up from the nightlife” and ends finding true love “in the club on a Thursday.” Before he can complete this character arc, he must first scream several hundred opinions in your ear over abrasive industrial beats.

Yeezus is the balls-out bacchanal, the final purge of sin, before the act of settling down. That it arrives the same year as the birth of his first child and his engagement to Kim Kardashian doesn’t surprise me. He’s transgressing every norm before he settles down and becomes one of the Normals himself.

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