Kanye‘s Yeezus is a down’n’out ambush to the senses.
Bristling and hypnotic, the overall tone is reminiscent of the angst felt and vented by punk bands of the late seventies. The invasive tracks incorporate classic Kanye wit and swagger parried with a dirty avantgarde core. The album itself advertises a loud, minimalistic quality that stretches from its barren cover art to what the plastic encases. There are moments of confusion, occasional sidebars and contradictions, but overall it’s just Kanye being Kanye.
The new experimental leap in style fits the subject matter finding its way out of West. Let’s face it – he’s getting on. His perspective is changing and the tug-of-war between his old self and the new is becoming more and more apparent.
The levels start off heavy, full of energy seizing up and, at times to make a point, megaphoned. The beginning portion expounds a quick capsule release to be taken with plenty of water and calculated eyedrops. The lofty fuzz and swirling score of notes are well spread out, suffering only in a few sections.
All signs of such high art behaviour dart back to his previous work My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Comparatively, Dark Fantasy felt to me like a late adolescent phase, aided by an enormous amount of featured producers and artists. This is the adult version, the grown-up edition, the sixth of the set. This new relative ‘less is more’ vibe I’m feeling from Yeezus is a step in the right direction, not that he needs any more praise, exhibit A, track three: “I Am A God”. His ego is healthy enough.
The character Kanye has created for himself, whether it be truth or tact, is a well developed symbol, a tool, that needs as much vice as it defiles. Whatever comes out of the extrovert of extroverts suggests a turn of the head and the need to pay close attention. This confidence so annoying to some, is a useful instrument that works both sides of the fence. Yes, he can be criticized for living the lavish way he lives, contradicting the ideas he presents in such tracks as “New Slaves” and “Black Skinhead”, but like anything adult – or so we say – we leave the personal at the door and assess what is presented.
The trance-inducing track “On Sight” sets the pace at which Kanye will enter the listener’s head. Fuzzed out videogame samples spaced within a steady time signature triggers an intense first impression. Hard not to toggle back and play again.
The chest-pounding battle cry “Black Skinhead” will have you waving banners and fist-pumping in no time. A hilarious take on a limitless man tired of dealing, discovering he would rather verbally rape everything he disagrees with. Centred around a Marilyn Manson sample, the riff and rumble is fun and exciting.
“Blood On The Leaves” shows a person lost in their thoughts of a previous person, and their slow rationalization of that present fact. Filled with careful pause and carefully cut-out regrets, it left me curious as to who she was in the first place.
A rise in heart rate while listening to “I’m In It” is understandable. The body parts and what could be said or done with them slightly impairs the mind. Both parts funny and serious, this fantastical sex tornado described should definitely be kept away from children.