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‘Ye Gets Personal On “ye”

Kanye's New Album Falls Short Of His Past Works

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‘Ye Gets Personal On “ye”

Photo Courtesy of: 105.3 The Beat

Photo Courtesy of: 105.3 The Beat

Photo Courtesy of: 105.3 The Beat

Jonah Tauber, Contributing Writer

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Falcon Rating: 3/4

After a tumultuous few months filled with controversial political statements, Kanye West has released his eighth studio album, ye. The album is only seven tracks in length, as are the other five albums West’s G.O.O.D. Music label is set to release this month.

As the title suggests, ye is a very personal project. It features far fewer featured artists than West’s previous works have, and the album delves deep into his mind. The tone for the album is set by the masterful intro track, “I Thought About Killing You.” West talks in a spoken-word style about his most morbid thoughts over a modulating, hypnotic backing track. The lyrics “The most beautiful thoughts are always besides the darkest” seem to capture the vibe of West’s headspace at the moment. West follows up with the hyper-aggressive “Yikes.” This song serves to show the heights of his bipolar disorder, which he proudly refers to here as his “superpower.” It should be noted that the cover art, taken by West shortly before its release, is of the Wyoming landscape with the words “I hate being Bi-Polar its [sic] awesome” scrawled across.

The next two tracks, “All Mine” and “Wouldn’t Leave,” stand in contrast to each other. The former is about his challenges with staying committed to his relationship, while the latter is about how thankful he is to his wife for standing by him amid his many controversies. The song then becomes a tribute of sorts to all women who deal with difficult men.

Despite its quality as a unit, [ye] has far fewer standout tracks than previous Kanye projects.”

“Ghost Town,” sixth on the album, is the standout song on ye; somewhat of a dramatic climax. Kid Cudi, who West also collaborated with on Kids See Ghosts—released a week after ye—is heavily featured on this song. The song connects well with that project, which even includes a sequel, “Freeee (Ghost Town, Pt. 2).” The floaty guitar solos and West’s singing on “Ghost Town” are also reminiscent of his 2010 song “Runaway.” Ye is rounded out by “Violent Crimes,” which is a tribute to West’s daughters. He reflects on how having daughters has given him perspective on his disrespectful treatment of women throughout his life.

Looking at the work as a whole, ye offers pretty excellent production and is quite consistent in terms of quality throughout. This, however, is a given for West. Every track was enjoyable and the songs flowed together effortlessly. However, the rapping on this album is certainly below the artist’s past standards, and West often speaks more than he raps, causing his lyrics to lose their power and flow. The short duration of the album, while somewhat vindicated by its consistency, does leave the listener wanting more. Despite its quality as a unit, it has far fewer standout tracks than previous Kanye projects.

What really stands out in the album is West’s raw honesty and the intimate look into his headspace, which are both all too rare in music. The album does not address his own recent controversies much, except for passing references. However, by illustrating how his bipolar disorder affects him, we get a better idea of why he can be unhinged at times. Ye paints a picture of a complicated man facing a great deal of internal struggle and contradiction, a man equally capable of both beauty and controversy.

About the Writer
Jonah Tauber, Arts & Entertainment Editor

What elementary school did you go to?

Graham & Parks

What other activities are you involved in at CRLS and/or in the community?

Latin Club,...

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‘Ye Gets Personal On “ye”