Acclaimed Albums – Yeezus by Kanye West

List item: Listen to the 250 greatest albums
Progress: 246/250Title: Yeezus
Artist: Kanye West
Year: 2013
Position: #187

I think I need to re-evaluate my position on Kanye West. At least when it comes to the albums that rank highly among the critical opinion. 5 years ago, I posted about College Dropout and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in one go and I think I may now have a different take on these albums, especially the latter one.

A lot has changed in my music taste since then with my finding some joy in more rap albums than I had expected. Case in point, I think I loved Yeezus – even if I really dislike the title and continue to think of Kanye West as a bit of a goober. Something that the video to ‘Bound 2’ really backs up having seen it again after many years – and still with the James Franco/Seth Rogan piss take in mind.

Yeezus is not your regular hip-hop album. Like with a lot of Kanye’s work, there is a lot of experimentation going on here when compared to the more straight line work in his early career. I mean, this is a hip-hop album where you see the likes of Arca and Daft Punk appear in the credits alongside previous collaborator Justin Vernon. Sure he has sampled Daft Punk on ‘Stronger’ and worked with Vernon on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, but all together it just adds up to this cool industrial electronic take on the genre at points.

I don’t think I have ever been taken aback by a Kanye West track as much as I was by ‘Black Skinhead’. There have been tracks in the past that I enjoyed – because even though he bugs me, I concede that he can make some great music. But ‘Black Skinhead’ just blew me away to the point where I had to really stop myself from repeating it the first time around – otherwise there would be no way for me to finish the album on the second attempt (I tried it a week ago, but I was in the bad parts of my COVID recovery and the strong beats just gave me one hell of a headache).

I enjoyed pretty much everything on this album, even Kanye having a song where he literally calls himself a God. Even the song where I couldn’t get a bare-chested Seth Rogan out of my head. This is the last album in the 2010s to feature in this cut of the list and it is a cracker to close on. I have not closed out a decade in years, and now will be doing so with the next four album posts. This is getting exciting.

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