Review: The Life of Pablo by Kanye West

The Life of Pablo by Kanye WestThe release of Kanye West’s long-teased new album, The Life of Pablo (formerly Swish, formerly Waves) couldn’t have happened any sooner: his pronouncements on Twitter were getting weird, then frustrating, then sad, then, well, not worth noticing. What’s he on about? Oh, yeah, he’s releasing an album. The Life of Pablo took over two years to come together, and things were still being changed in the weeks leading up to its release last Sunday. It’s slightly surprising he’s still churned out an enjoyable album, with some flashes of brilliance (“No Parties in L.A.”, in particular, elicited a loud laugh from me). The problem is just how random it can get. It starts in one place and ends in another, and in between you have no idea just how Kanye’s getting there. Gospel confessional? Check. Alternative R&B nod? Check. Obligatory Kanye worship? Duh. Considering how his last album, Yeezus, honed on an intense, if not paranoid, sound, The Life of Pablo sounds scattered and distracted by comparison. It’s a bit disappointing, but, you know, it’s still fun, I guess. [NB]4/5


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