True Music Reviews does not claim ownership over the "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" album cover. Full credits go to George Condo and Kanye West.
Even though the album was released over three years ago, I have not listened to "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" prior to this review. However, I have heard a lot of great things about it, so I decided to check it out for myself.
I will have to admit that I was very impressed with the quality of the album in which many consider to be one of the best rap albums of all time. There was not a single bad track on the album, even though some tracks were clearly better than others. The instrumentals were all great, and most of the features were excellent. Let's begin the review with the first track, "Dark Fantasy".
Track #1: "Dark Fantasy"
"Dark Fantasy" was a terrific first track from Minaj's haunting intro, to the glorious sample hook, to Kanye's verses himself. The beat was excellent, and Kanye succeeded in painting a vivid picture of his life through his lyrics. This song put me in the right mood, and made me look forward to the rest of the album.
Track #2: "GORGEOUS" ft. Kid Cudi and raekwon
First of all, "Gorgeous" surpassed the previous track lyrically. In addition, the features on the song were excellent. However, that is also a downside to the song, as Raekwon and Cudi outshined Kanye with their respective hooks and verses. In addition, I didn't really dig the beat as much as I did with "Dark Fantasy". In addition, Kanye's flow was a little more boring than it was in "Dark Fantasy". It is still a great song though.
Track #3: "Power"
"Power" is definitely the best track out of the ones I have listened to so far. Once again, Kanye improves lyrically, but he also manages to put a superb beat with the song. The outro was as close to perfection as it will get. All in all, "Power" was a very successful song.
Track #4: "All of The Lights (Interlude)"
There really isn't much to say about this beautiful interlude, except for the fact that the violin and piano blended very well together. Even though this interlude had no vocals in it, it was still a showcase of Kanye's skill, but as a producer as opposed to a rapper. It also prepared me for the epic song to come after it.
Track #5: "All of The Lights" ft. Rihanna, Kid Cudi & Fergie
I absolutely loved the intro to this track; the trumpet horns made it sound very cool and dramatic. Once again, Kanye's lyrics were top-notch, but were not as good as the other songs mentioned above. In addition, the outro was a little bit too strange for me. However, I thought it was really cool how Kanye featured 15 different artists on the track, including Fergie, Elton John, and Charlie Wilson. Rihanna's hook was very catchy too.
Track #6: "Monster" ft. Jay Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, and Bon Iver
Almost every time I see this song mentioned, I also hear Nicki Minaj's verse mentioned with it. I was skeptical, and I never would've thought that she could have outshined two of the best rap artists ever. However, I was proven wrong after listening to the entire song a couple of times.
As I stated above, I will actually have to agree with the majority of the people, because I personally did think Nicki had the best verse out of the three. However, all three artists (namely Kanye West, Jay Z, and Nicki Minaj) provided us with excellent verses that had their fair share of superb lyrics. In addition, Rick Ross's intro and Bon Iver's intro and outro were catchy. Finally, the beat on the song was extremely dope. It is definitely a standout track on the album.
Track #7: "So APPALLED" ft. Jay Z, Pusha T, Prynce Cy Hi, Swizz Beatz, RZA
I really enjoyed all four verses in this song, as they all had unique rhyming schemes, excellent delivery, and decent lyrics. Even though I enjoy RZA's music quite a lot, I did not like his hook very much, because it didn't really sound right after listening to Cyhi the Prynce's verse. In addition, I didn't really get into the Swizz Beatz bridge. Despite this, the production was decent and the song was good.
Track #8: "Devil In A New Dress" ft. Rick Ross
Even though this was one of the most lyrical songs on the album, "Devil In A New Dress"'s beat started to annoy me after a while, and I think West should have shortened the length of the song. I did enjoy Ross's verse quite a lot, and I felt like he did better than West himself, as his flow got pretty boring after a while. Even though it is a great song, it is still one of the low ends of the album.
Track #9: "RUnaway" ft. Pusha T
As you can see below, "Runaway" literally broke my scale, due to the fact that it is one of my favorite songs of all time. The lyrics are very sincere; most people will not admit that they are "assholes" and that they "always find something wrong". I felt like I could really relate to Kanye, as I feel like a constant critic also.
On the other hand, the instrumental was perfect, due to its pure simplicity. From the initial piano playing at the beginning of the song to the violins at the end of the song, the beat was outstanding. It could have not been any better.
If I had to change one thing about this song, I would probably shorten the length of the outro. Even though I enjoyed it, I did feel like it dragged on for quite a while, and the song would be better if it was a little shorter.
Track #10: "Hell of A Life"
In "Hell of A Life", Kanye demonstrated his storytelling skills, and provided us a terrific beat. The lyrics were great, but not as good as some of the other songs. Even though it was Kanye's story, I felt like this song could have used a feature to bring the song to the next level. In addition, the hook could have been better. Despite all of this, "Hell of A Life" was a successful track.
Track #11: "Blame Game" ft. John Legend
First of all, John Legend's hook was excellent. In addition, I found myself jamming to the distinct piano beat of "Blame Game". One of the highlights of this track was the number of vocal effects that Kanye used, especially in the second verse. The pan effect made it sound like Kanye was having a conversation. However, Kanye's flow was a bit offbeat at times, and his lyrics were not as great as some of the other songs on the album.
Track #12: "Lost In The World" ft. Bon Iver
In my opinion, "Lost In The World" is the only song on the entire album that compares to "Runaway". I love how "Lost In The World" starts with one voice, and subsequently crescendos into numerous voice singing at the same time. In addition, I thought the beat was really cool. All in all, I just loved the overall vibe of the song, and it is definitely a standout track on the album.
Track #13: "Who Will Survive In America"
"Who Will Survive In America" was a great album outro, as it describes the racism that still exists in America. Even though the entire song was very underwhelming, I still enjoyed it quite a lot. There honestly is not that much to say about it.
All in all, "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" is the best album I have ever listened to. Here are my Top 5 tracks from the album.
#5: "Blame Game"
From the excellent hook, to the beautiful beat, to the haunting vocal effects used by West throughout the song, "Blame Game" stood out in my mind as one of the best tracks on the album.
I really enjoyed this track's theme of the downsides of having fame and fortune. In addition, the outro of this song was perfect, and Kanye's verses were very dope.
All of the rappers featured in "Monster" had superb verses, even though Nicki Minaj was the highlight of the song. Bon Iver's intro and outro fit perfectly within the theme of the song.
#2: "Lost In The World"
As one of the most dramatic songs on the album, "Lost In The World" was a huge success. The beat is arguably one of the best ones that Kanye has ever had a hand in the production. Even though it was not the most lyrical song on the album, I still loved Kanye's verse.
You had to see this coming.
"Runaway" is definitely one of the best songs Kanye West has ever made, and it is one of my favorite songs of all time, due to the fact that I could relate to it so much. If Kanye sang like this in more recent tracks such as "Blood on The Leaves", I would probably enjoy them a lot more. If you have not already, I highly suggest that you listen to the song.
Thank you for reading this! Stay tuned for more true music reviews!