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Posted by: Dave on December 2, 2008 at 6:40 am

Kanye808sSound: Electronic, digitally manipulated pop-friendly r&b with lots ’80s retro synths, some orchestrated strings and driving beats that are often either industrial or tribal. Kanye never raps (there are only two rapped verses period – one from Young Jeezy, one from Lil Wayne), instead he sings with the frequent assistance of an Auto-Tune pitch corrector.
Heavy Rotation tracks: “Love Lockdown”
Medium Rotation tracks: “Heartless”; “Paranoid” featuring Mr. Hudson ; “Amazing” featuring Young Jeezy; “RoboCop”; “Welcome to Heartbreak” featuring Kid Cudi; “Coldest Winter”
Recommended: Sure, the Auto-Tune has been widespread in pop, hip hop and r&b the last couple of years (think T-Pain and Akon in particular), but using the device for an entire album is still a pretty bold risk for a guy whose first three albums contained predominately rapped verses. From a creative standpoint, though, 808s & Heartbreak is an impressive achievement for Kanye. He’s successfully carved out a new, original sound here. And the songs are certainly memorable. But part of the reason the melodies stick with you is the rampant repetition within each song – few develop past an idea or two. And even though Kanye concocts a satisfying array of musical sounds, the constant use of the vocal effects creates a sameness between tracks that can get tiresome. This album seemingly came together quickly – in a rush of heartache-fueled inspiration – and the finished product could have been stronger if he spent a little more time fleshing out and expanding upon all the quality ideas contained with each song.
Grade: B+

Listen to Tracks/Buy Music:
On iTunes
On amazon.com



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