Kanye West's "The Life of Pablo" Review


After 3 years and multiple name changes, Kanye West finally debuted The Life of Pablo, his seventh solo album, at Madison Square Garden along with the equally anticipated Yeezy Season 3. This “Gospel Album” takes a completely different approach from his previous major album Yeezus. While Yeezus was a very violent and, as some might put it, blasphemous approach, The Life of Pablo took a different style and in the way mirrored all his previous works. From The College Dropout to 808s & Heartbreak, Kanye West took a bit of every single one of his past studio albums and combined them into one album. In other words, The Life of Pablo is the documentation of Kanye’s musical journey.

This new album is nothing like Kanye’s previous albums My Dark Twisted Fantasy and Yeezus.This new style, a mixture of the different qualities in music including gospel, reflects West’s current situation, where he is a fashion designer, a father, a husband, and a self-proclaimed figurehead of our era. The way samples and different style music are mixed together into one song is at times too abrupt, but it creates a dynamic melody. Perhaps the whole vibe of an incomplete, partial album is what Kanye is trying to show: a statement of some sort.

Kanye West starts the album off with one of the best songs in the album, “Ultralight Beam”. It is headlined by Chance the Rapper, who has, arguably, the best verse in this entire album. Kanye then continues his strong start with “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1” and “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 2”. Pt. 2 portrayed a more modern-esque Kanye and it featured a sample of “PANDA” by Desiigner, The next song, “Famous”, featuring Rihanna and Swizz Beatz, perfectly embodies Kanye’s trademark trashy but catchy lyrics. Next, “Feedback” seemed a bit out of place but The Life of Pablo would not have aptly shown his path as a musician without it. Although “Lowlights” was a good intro to “Highlights”, it wasn’t really an essential part of the album. In addition, “Silver Surfer Intermission” should have been completely omitted. “Freestyle 4”, “30 Hours”, and “Fade”, were below par. Then, “I Love Kanye” was an interesting acapella track poking fun at his critics comically. Using the song “Real Friends”, Kanye criticizes the entertainment industry, expressing the sad fact that people will try to gain profit from you because of your fame and money, and real friends will no longer exist, real talk. “Fade” was a let down, Kanye tries too hard to mix different styles of music together and at the end it doesn’t sound good. “30 Hours” has a good beat and vocal but the background sound clashes with the vocal towards the middle to end of the song. “Facts” really sound like Kanye’s breakout album My Dark twisted Fantasy. “No more parties in LA” is another smasher, featuring rapper Kendrick Lamar. The song was originally written and made for Kanye’s My Dark Twisted Fantasy Album, which is why it sounds so old school, good flow. Overall, the album is actually pretty nice. You may not like it the first time you listen to it, but after a few listening the songs will grow on you.