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November 25, 2008



i've been listening to this album since sunday and i'm pretty pleased with (i thought i'd hate it). i can't wait to see how it does sales wise.


I find myself shocked to actually really really like Kanye's album. I've been listening to it for days on straight. It, along with Britney & Beyonce's new ones, are in heavy rotation right now - which is pretty interesting as I've personally become "autotuned" to music in the past couple of years myself - that is to say, detached from it. har har


Kanye is pretty much evolving the same way the Beatles did in the 70's, going from mainstream into more experimental and forward thinking stuff and making that stuff mainstream. it's very interesting to see what he'll do next.

the first verse of Heartless is so cliche and yet so poignant too.. love it


this sums up pretty much how i have been feeling about this record since i first heard the leaks. i will hate myself every step of the way as i jam this out. thanks for the excellent review.


I've been waiting for something as fresh as College Dropout since, well, College Dropout. I loved Heartless when I heard the leak...can't wait to hear the rest album. Thanks for the review Rich, enjoy the holiday!

Dennis N.

In my failed attempt to figure out what "H.E.R" meant by sorting your posts by that category, I came across your Grammy rant of Kanye, and I gotta tell ya: I feel cleansed. I'm glad I can despise him but still be oddly drawn to the music he creates.

PS- and H.E.R. is...?


H.E.R. is something like Hip-hop in its Essence and Real. I don't know if Common (Sense) created the acronym, but I know he used it in "I Used to Love H.E.R."

Yes, yes, y'all and you don't stop!


It's a great CD. Amazing how something beautiful can come out of so much pain.

And a Skee-Lo reference, to boot!


somedude - comparing this clueless git to The Beatles is so far beyond the pale...I just...oh, man.

There's so much prog stuff out there now that deserves attention and provokes analysis. Kanye deserves nothing. His "success", as with so many of his prefabricated pop peers, has been wholly engineered by the tone-deaf lawyers at the RIAA.

This guy pisses on his dressing room floor, for fuck's sake. All P Diddy talks about is how good pissing feels (at least he uses a toilet), and R Kelly? Well, we all know that story.

Just because, between them, these piss-happy dullards command millions of dollars' worth of music sales doesn't make them relevant.

"Pop art" is supposed to be reflective - and in the post-modern sense - tinged with a blush of irony? This crap is the mirror-opposite; it's reductionist, crude, and endlessly self-indulgent. Much like Kanye West himself.


Okay... seriously, what journalism school did you go to? Your writing is AMAZING. I am a bitter communication studies major who, in her senior year, has realized her writing is so weak and uninspired. You can write any topic, making it read like a dissertation without being boring for a heartbeat. I put myself to sleep leaving voicemails.

Would you say it was your undergrad/graduates studies that helped you perfect your writing, or have you always just had a knack for prose?


I was worried that I was going to be the only one who liked this album. It reminds me soo much of The Eraser in it's construction. True, Yorke touched on more topics but the underlying tone was the same- heartbreak, lonliness and despair. And both artists were very indulgent in their feelings which would totally put alot of listeners off but I found it enjoyable.


And Spazmo, I don't think Somedude was comparing Kanye to the Beatles, just his career arc to theirs.

My grandfather use to tell me before he passed that when the Beatles were first around, critics and serious musicians back then thought of them as jokes because they made poppy music for teenagers. It wasn't until time had passed, they'd grown up and changed their sound that people began to respect them for the artists they are now. So the poppy music serious music critics hated back then like "Can't Buy Me Love" is now looked at as a classic. Look at the footage of who's screaming in the crowds to those songs, it's not hipsters or cool kids, it's teeny boppers. It's what Beatlemania was first centered around.

It's all a matter of perspective and time and I think Kanye is showing some maturity on this album. I'd like to think that the next album will continue that, but time will tell.


I can't bring myself to give a fuck about Kanye. I've decided not to encourage him by listening to his albums. Hopefully if I ignore him enough he'll go away, like an insect.


I am really loving Kanye's album since I think it shows his willingness and daring to go a step beyond than what the typical hip hop act does.

Also, the picture inside with his mom? Stunning.


You're my favourite online writer by far, but you really need to proofread your articles a bit more. I've noticed typos galore in the past... 5 or so articles. Maybe more.


you're either on board with Kanye's weird artistic detour or you aren't (in a broader scope: you either trust that pop music has room to breathe and stay relevant, or you don't)

you might want to shrink that scope a bit, dude. one can not enjoy the outcome of his artistic detour and still believe pop music has "room to breathe."


this album is fucking awesome.


i also have a knack for prose. as evidenced above.


Dear Spazmo,

I lost my favorite stick yesterday and I am very sad. It is brown, very big and smells a little like freshly cut grass. I have now have reason to believe it is up your ass.

I would greatly appreciate it if you take it out and send it back to me.


oh yeah, your high horse needs a drink of water too.

Dennis N.

3 points for somedude for the two instances of reworked metaphors!

I usually have to go to EW.com for my fix of petty bickering.


"[...] Heartbreaks is immaculately and intensely conceived, and yet, it's so simple-sounding. It is artistically indulgent, yet ultimately humble. It's pride-driven and yet bounding with insecurity. It walks the line between staunch minimalism and necessary sparseness." - My thoughts exactly. The album screams 80's sentimentality to me, somehow, and being an 80's freak, I fell for it.

At first I thought I'd hate myself for liking this album so much, since he seems like such a narcissistic prick, but how can I when I enjoy it so much?


g'lord. Hate on rich for some typos here or there? This blog is a living treasure. It never sleeps, always current, enthusiastic & can you do better? I know the answer is a good ole Whitney, "HELL TO THE NO". So chris, let me know where to read your words. Prove me wrong because I think you're a dumbass.


I am wholly unfamiliar with Kanye's music, and likely to remain so....he seems like such a PRAT that I just want to smack him in his smug face! Get OVER yourself, Mr. West. Oi!

LA in CT


i have never been a kanye fan. like, ever. and yet i cannot stop listening to this album. it's very quickly turning into one of my favorites of the year and if this is where music is headed, sign me up.


To quote the chick in Detroit Rock City: "Good tunes is good tunes". Seriously, it doesn't matter where it comes from. Love Lockdown hits me hard, I love it, and I don't give a shit about Kanye because he comes across as a racist. I don't care about him, I love it anyway, and I loved the premiere of it on the MTV awards. You just have to take music for what it's worth and not read so much into it sometimes.

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