Tag Archives: Kanye West

Episode 114: 2015!

Michael and Jacob 020

Happy 2015! Thanks to Jacob Gellman and Michael Mannheimer for joining us this week! You can listen to this week’s episode above, or download the episode right here.

Topic:

  • 2015: A new year! We chat about our most anticipated releases and shows of the new year, as well as a few things we aren’t into.

Songs:

  • The Breeders – “The New Year”
  • Jens Lekman – “Postcard #1”
  • Run the Jewels – “All Due Respect”
  • Kanye West – “Only One (Ft. Paul McCartney)”

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Episode 63: It Was A Very Good Year

Thank you to Colin McLaughlin and Jordan Portlock for joining us this week, for our wrap-up show! This bad boy is mighty long, and below are links to download the different sections individually, or the single-file version of the episode. We hope you enjoy it!

Topic:

  • 2013: A year in review!
  • We go over our favorite songs, albums, shows – and our biggest disappointments.

Songs Used:

Bands Mentioned:

  • Pusha T / Clipse
  • Danny Brown
  • Chance the Rapper
  • Vampire Weekend
  • Kanye West
  • Phoenix
  • Fanno Creek
  • Just Lions
  • Bright is Black
  • Foo Fighters
  • Dropkick Murphys
  • Bono / U2
  • Rolling Stones
  • Bob Dylan
  • The Band
  • Thee Oh Sees
  • Norah Jones
  • M. Ward
  • Nine Inch Nails
  • Autre Ne Veut
  • Majical Cloudz
  • Grimes
  • A$AP Ferg
  • Fiona Apple
  • Blake Mills
  • Savages
  • Crystal Castles
  • Gary Numan
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Flying Lotus
  • Thundercat
  • Captain Murphy
  • Drake
  • Soundgarden
  • Jeff Mangum / Neutral Milk Hotel
  • Animal Collective
  • Foals
  • The National
  • Deerhunter
  • Neko Case
  • Eric Bachmann / Archers of Loaf
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Explosions in the Sky
  • The Blow
  • James Murphy / LCD Soundsystem
  • Postal Service
  • Big Freedia
  • Mudhoney
  • J. Mascis
  • Metz
  • Father John Misty
  • Shabazz Palaces
  • Shearwater
  • Joyce Manor
  • Ural Thomas
  • Johnny Marr / The Smiths
  • Big Boi
  • Steely Dan
  • Philip Glass
  • Pearl Jam
  • Sleater Kinney
  • Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks
  • Typhoon
  • Cut Copy
  • Sebadoh
  • Graham Nash
  • The Breeders
  • James Blake
  • Little Green Cars
  • Iceage
  • Shuggie Otis
  • Patti Smith
  • The Walkmen
  • Anamanaguchi
  • Portland Cello Project
  • Emmylou Harris
  • The Bats
  • Pet Shop Boys
  • Miguel
  • Rudimentals
  • Arcade Fire
  • Michael Stipe
  • David Bowie
  • Pharrell Williams
  • Julian Casablancas
  • Panda Bear
  • Giorgio Moroder
  • My Bloody Valentine
  • Boards of Canada
  • The Knife
  • Jay Z
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Beyonce
  • Madonna
  • Modest Mouse
  • Tegan & Sara
  • Dawes
  • Lightspeed Champion
  • Mike Will Made It
  • Danny Brown
  • Busta Rhymes
  • Q-Tip
  • Janelle Monae
  • Kevin Gates
  • Laura Mvula
  • Merchandise
  • Yo La Tengo
  • Nina Simone
  • Big Sean
  • Jay Electronica
  • Los Campesinos!
  • Violent Femmes
  • Typhoon
  • Wild Ones
  • Mo Troper / Your Rival
  • Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
  • The Flaming Lips
  • Unknown Mortal Orchestra
  • Foxygen
  • The Haxan Cloak
  • Run The Jewels
  • Camera Obscura
  • Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
  • Volcano Choir
  • D’Angelo
  • Our First Brains
  • Nana Grisol / Defiance, Ohio
  • St. Lucia
  • Stuart Villain
  • Disappears
  • RiFF-RAFF
  • Phil Anselmo / Pantera
  • Author & Punisher
  • Oneohtrix Point Never
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Episode 55: No Expectations

Thanks to Bob Ham for joining us for this episode! You can listen up top, or you can download it HERE!

Topic:

  • Hype/expectations: what are hype and expectations, and what do they mean for music?
  • What bands have fallen victim to the “hype machine”?
  • Are there bands that subvert the concept of “hype” by fairly living up to the expectations?
  • Are there bands that create their own hype?

Songs:

Bands Mentioned

  • MIA
  • Reggie Watts
  • Arcade Fire
  • Macklemore
  • Eminem
  • Justin Bieber
  • OK Go
  • The 1975
  • Kevin Devine
  • Now, Now
  • Cut Copy
  • Modern Kin
  • Charli XCX
  • Janelle Monae
  • Davey Havok / AFI
  • Coming
  • Joy Division
  • Touche Amore
  • The Features
  • Tegan & Sara
  • Kanye West
  • Brendan Urie / Panic at the Disco
  • Fiona Apple
  • Radiohead
  • Pet Shop Boys
  • Public Enemy
  • Death Grips
  • Haim
  • Arctic Monkeys
  • Tapes n Tapes
  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
  • The Vaccines
  • Perfect Pussy
  • Mo Troper / Your Rival
  • Carlos D. / Interpol
  • Rivers Cuomo / Weezer
  • Lou Reed
  • Franz Ferdinand
  • Death Cab for Cutie
  • Bloc Party
  • Paul McCartney / The Beatles
  • The Clash
  • The Kinks
  • The Who
  • Elvis Presley
  • Pixies
  • Chris Gaines
  • XTC
  • Aphex Twin
  • The Firemen
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Bono / U2
  • Michael Stipe / REM
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Drake
  • Jay Z
  • Lorde
  • 50 Cent
  • Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill ‘Em All
  • Tyler, The Creator
  • Earl Sweatshirt
  • Shaun Ryder / Happy Mondays
  • Teenage Fanclub
  • Fear
  • Katy Perry
  • Robyn
  • The Ting Tings
  • !!!
  • LCD Soundsystem
  • Hot Hot Heat
  • The Walkmen
  • Joggers
  • The Woolen Men
  • The National
  • Father John Misty
  • Florence + The Machine
  • Foster the People
  • Kaiser Chiefs
  • Kasabian
  • Futureheads
  • Maximo Park
  • Palma Violets
  • Stereophonics
  • Living Color
  • Bush
  • Typhoon
  • Yo La Tengo
  • AD/DC
  • The Ramones
  • Slayer
  • The Killers
  • Coldplay
  • Mazzy Star
  • Emmylou Harris
  • Rodney Crowell
  • Richard Thompson
  • Shabazz Palaces
  • Natasha Kmeto
  • Minden
  • Autistic Youth
  • Piss Test
  • Cass McCombs
  • Minor Alps
  • Nada Surf
  • Atlas Genius
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
  • Family of the Year
  • Bill Frisell
  • Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks
  • Rose Window
  • Sun Angle
  • Lightning Bolt
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Episode 54: Remembering Lou Reed

A special, incredible thank you to Douglas Jenkins of the Portland Cello Project, who joined us for an episode on classical music, but what became an episode about the late, great Lou Reed. Listen to the episode up top, or download it HERE.

Topic:

  • Lou Reed: 1942-2013
  • Where did we all start with Reed/Velvet Underground?
  • What made him so influential?
  • What have we taken from his music?

Songs:

Bands Mentioned:

  • Douglas Jenkins / Portland Cello Project
  • Kanye West
  • Lou Reed
  • John Cale / Mo Tucker / Sterling Morrison / Bob Yule / Velvet Underground
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Flying Lotus
  • Macklemore
  • Peter Gabriel
  • Rogue Valley
  • Wild & Scenic
  • Your Rival
  • Miley Cyrus
  • The Who
  • Frank Turner
  • The Head & the Heart
  • Wavves
  • Palma Violets
  • Wildcat! Wildcat!
  • Fringe Class
  • Adventure Galley
  • Wolf Parade
  • The Cars
  • World’s Greatest Ghosts
  • The Ecstatics
  • Just Lions
  • Lubec
  • Shy Girls
  • Kingdom Crumbs
  • Willy Mason
  • Errata Note
  • Ellis Pink
  • Brett & Blake
  • The Blow
  • Au Revoir Simone
  • John Vanderslice (The band Vanderslice used to be in was MK Ultra – ed.)
  • Starfucker
  • Chrome Sparks
  • Dead Moon
  • The Obituaries
  • Vince Clarke / Depeche Mode
  • Martin Rev / Suicide
  • Author & Punisher
  • David J / Bauhaus
  • Paul Barker / Malekko
  • Dandy Warhols
  • Philip Glass
  • Watain
  • In Solitude
  • OK Go
  • March Forth Marching Band
  • Rufus Wainwright
  • Lucy Wainwright Roche
  • Johnathan Richmond
  • Metallica
  • David Bowie
  • Asher Roth
  • Thurston Moore / Sonic Youth
  • Oasis
  • Wilco
  • Julian Casablancas / The Strokes
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Aerosmith
  • David Byrne / Talking Heads
  • Iggy Pop
  • Morrissey
  • The Fall
  • Johnny Cash
  • Michael Jackson
  • Bono / The Edge / U2
  • The Beatles
  • Aaron Carter
  • Cut Copy
  • Andrew WK
  • The 1975
  • Janelle Monae
  • Poolside
  • Antwon
  • White Lung
  • AFI
  • Sean Carter / Jay Z
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Episode 53: Not Fade Away

Thank you to Mo Troper of Your Rival for coming on this week! You can listen up top, and download it HERE.

Topic:

  • The dearly departed: musicians who died too soon
  • What questions do they leave behind?
  • What would have happened if they had lived?
  • Who are the most tragic losses to date?
  • Do we over-glamorize these people?

Songs:

Bands Mentioned:

  • Mo Troper / Your Rival
  • Vince Clarke
  • Martin Rev / Suicide
  • Cevin Key / Skinny Puppy
  • Kanye West
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Philip Glass
  • Soft Skills
  • The Moonshine
  • Katy Perry
  • Gwar
  • Iron Reagan
  • Whitechapel
  • Agalloch
  • Justin Bieber
  • Keith Moon / The Who
  • Kansas
  • Insane Clown Posse
  • Tony Lash / Heatmiser
  • Elliott Smith
  • Peter Ham / Tom Evans / Badfinger
  • Nick Drake
  • Beck
  • Darby Crash / The Germs
  • Chris BellBig Star
  • Buddy Holly
  • Frankie Lymon
  • Lorde
  • Kurt Cobain / Nirvana
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Janis Joplin
  • Jim Morrison
  • Amy Winehouse
  • John Lennon / The Beatles
  • Billy Joel
  • Evan Dando / The Lemonheads
  • Kind of Like Spitting
  • Gotye
  • Mark Linkous / Sparklehorse
  • Thom Yorke / Radiohead
  • Cliff Burton / Metallica
  • Jeff Buckley
  • Stone Temple Pilots
  • Freddie Mercury
  • Brian Jones / The Rolling Stones
  • Weezer
  • Tyler, The Creator / Odd Future
  • Marc Bolan
  • Dimebag Darrell / Pantera
  • Brian Wilson / Carl Wilson / Mike Love / The Beach Boys
  • John Bonham
  • Richie Valens
  • Chubby Checker
  • Jason Molina / Songs:Ohia
  • David Bowie
  • Lou Reed
  • Ian Curtis / Joy Division
  • Barenaked Ladies
  • Michael Jackson
  • Shy Girls
  • James Blunt
  • Ellis Pinker
  • Errata Note
  • Rufus Wainwright
  • Lucy Wainwright Roche
  • Martha Wainwright
  • Loudon Wainwright III
  • Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks
  • Elton John
  • U2 / Bono / The Edge
  • Fringe Class
  • Adventure Galley
  • Wildcat! Wildcat!
  • Passion Pit
  • OK Go
  • Watain
  • Abiotic
  • The Zombies
  • KISS
  • Linda Ronstadt
  • Modest Mouse
  • Deep Purple
  • Yes
  • The Replacements
  • N.W.A.
  • The Eagles
  • Link Wray
  • Hall & Oates
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Episode 42: The Evolution of Hip-Hop

Many, many, many thanks to Ryan Feigh for joining us on this week’s episode! You can listen to this beauty above, or you can right-click HERE to download!

Topic:

  • The evolution of hip-hop
  • Where did hip-hop start?
  • Who were some of the earliest pioneers of the genre?
  • What are our best memories with the genre, and how did we each grow up with it?
  • Who can we look to in the local spotlight for talent?
  • Who in the mainstream is really worth watching?

Songs Used:

Bands Mentioned:

  • TV on the Radio
  • Lou Barlow / Jason Lowenstein / Sebadoh
  • Archers of Loaf
  • J Mascis / Dinosaur Jr.
  • Folk Implosion
  • Steely Dan
  • Isaac Brock / Modest Mouse
  • Skinny Puppy
  • Buddy Holly
  • Tough Fuzz
  • Frank Black
  • Octagrape
  • Ian MacKaye / Minor Threat
  • Fugazi
  • Bob Mould
  • Death Grips
  • Jack White
  • Karen Elson
  • Daft Punk
  • Eric B.
  • Rakim
  • Public Enemy
  • Run DMC
  • Grandmaster Flash
  • Nas
  • Sunny Day Real Estate
  • At The Drive-In
  • Massive Attack
  • Kanye West
  • Michael Jackson
  • Easy E
  • Ol’ Dirty Bastard / Raekwon / Ghostface Killah / Method Man / GZA / RZA / Inspectah Deck / Wu-Tang Clan
  • Snoop Dogg
  • A Tribe Called Quest
  • Guns ‘n’ Roses
  • Metallica
  • Hank Williams
  • Dwight Yoakam
  • Sugar Hill Gang
  • Beastie Boys
  • Biz Markie
  • DJ Shadow
  • Dr. Dre
  • 2Pac Shakur
  • Biggie Smalls
  • Das EFX
  • Luck-One
  • Suge Knight
  • Jay Z
  • The Doors
  • Wale
  • Rick Ross
  • Chance the Rapper
  • Kendrick Lamar / Black Hippy
  • NWA
  • Tope
  • Cloudy October
  • Vinnie Dewayne
  • Rasheed Jamal
  • Glenn Waco
  • Talkdemonic
  • The Roulettes
  • The Snuggleups
  • Horse Feathers
  • Please Step Out of the Vehicle
  • Wooden Indian Burial Ground
  • Calvin Valentine
  • Radiation City
  • Stewart Villain
  • Magic Fades
  • TxE
  • The Coup
  • Destro
  • MF DOOM
  • Gustavo Santaolalla
  • Trent Reznor / Nine Inch Nails
  • HEALTH
  • Alan Singley
  • Papi Fimbres
  • Chill Crew
  • Nancy King
  • Load B
  • Danny Brown
  • Guilty Simpson
  • MC5
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Episode 38: Beloved Bands We Behate

Many thanks to Toby Edelhart and Nicole Staudinger for joining us this week! You can listen to the episode above, or right-click HERE to download!

Topic:

  • The beloved bands we behate: what bands do we hate, that those around us love?
  • Why do we dislike these bands?
  • Is there ever a sense of missing something?
  • Is there ever a sense of shame?

Songs Used:

Bands Mentioned:

  • Jay-Z
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Boards of Canada
  • The Bats
  • Eat Skull
  • Fairweather Watchers
  • Tienanmen Bear
  • Ten Foot Mouse
  • Miss Massive Snowflake
  • Pity Sex
  • Lee Corey Oswald
  • The World Is A Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die
  • Dad
  • Drunk Dad
  • Gay Dad
  • Grandparents
  • Wild Ones
  • My Body
  • Jeffrey Lewis
  • Valkyrie Rodeo
  • Places We Must Save
  • Scared Crow
  • Little Pilgrims
  • Rollerball
  • Ezra Koenig / Vampire Weekend
  • Mumford & Sons
  • John Lennon / Paul McCartney / George Harrison / Ringo Starr / The Beatles
  • Paul Simon
  • Simon & Garfunkel
  • Radiohead
  • Can
  • Richard D. James / Aphex Twin
  • Kanye West
  • Death Grips
  • Moby
  • Mission of Burma
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Neil Young
  • Big Back Cloud
  • Envy
  • At the Drive-In
  • Rorschach
  • Fugazi
  • Rites of Spring
  • Moss Icon
  • Jim Morrison / Ray Manzarek / John Densmore / Robby Krieger
  • The Jam
  • From The Jam
  • Peter Hook
  • Peter Green / Lindsey Buckingham / Stevie Nicks / Mick Fleetwood / Fleetwood Mac
  • Harry Chapin
  • Pink
  • Mariah Carey
  • Tom Tom Club
  • Joanna Newsom
  • Sallie Ford
  • John Lydon / Sex Pistols
  • The Slits
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Pink Floyd
  • Journey
  • Boston
  • Kansas
  • Europe
  • Asia
  • Thin Lizzy
  • Hall & Oates
  • Coolio
  • Elton John
  • Joy Division / Ian Curtis
  • Warsaw
  • Hellhammer
  • Celtic Frost
  • Spoon
  • The Strokes
  • Billy Ray Cyrus
  • Justin Bieber
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Bono / U2
  • John Cage
  • Elliott Smith
  • Heatmiser
  • Puddle of Mudd
  • Prince
  • Sinead O’Connor
  • Tracey Chapman
  • Eddie Vedder / Pearl Jam
  • Axl Rose / Slash / Guns ‘n’ Roses
  • Buckethead
  • Ratt
  • Poison
  • Twisted Sister
  • Metallica
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Joni Mitchell
  • Janis Joplin
  • Slayer
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Weezer
  • Mudhoney
  • Built to Spill
  • J Mascis
  • Father John Misty
  • Greg Dulli / The Afghan Whigs
  • Shabazz Palaces
  • THEEsatisfaction
  • Cotton Dick
  • Mansions
  • Mattress
  • Cunt Bat
  • Passion Pit
  • Coldplay
  • Nazareth
  • Pictorials
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Episode 37: 2013 (So Far)

Many thanks to Cory Butcher and Darren Hicks for joining us again! You can listen to the episode above, or right-click HERE to download!

Topic:

  • The first half of 2013
  • What were our favorite:
    • Albums?
    • Songs?
    • Moments?
  • What music has disappointed us so far?

Songs Used:

Bands Mentioned:

  • The Dismemberment Plan
  • Frank Black / Pixies
  • Kim Deal / Breeders
  • Typhoon
  • Trent Reznor / Nine Inch Nails
  • David Lynch
  • Vieux Farka Touré
  • Defiance, OH
  • And And And
  • Wooden Indian Burial Ground
  • Grandparents
  • Todd Edwards
  • David Bowie
  • Boards of Canada
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Daft Punk
  • The Knife
  • The Smiths
  • Guns ‘n’ Roses
  • Creed
  • Stone Roses
  • Alan Myers / Devo
  • TV on the Radio
  • The Thermals
  • Christopher Owens / Girls
  • Wilco
  • Wayne Coyne / The Flaming Lips
  • Kanye West
  • The Replacements
  • Neutral Milk Hotel
  • Jeff Hanneman / Carey King / Slayer
  • My Bloody Valentine
  • Mick Jagger / Keith Richards / The Rolling Stones
  • Katy Perry
  • Arcade Fire
  • Ben Kweller
  • Ben Folds
  • Randy Newman
  • Lyle Lovett
  • Bob Dylan
  • The Beatles
  • Yo La Tengo
  • Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
  • Vampire Weekend
  • The National
  • Deerhunter
  • Phoenix
  • Avey Tare / Panda Bear / Animal Collective
  • Chance the Rapper
  • Little Green Cars
  • Mumford & Sons
  • Nile Rogers
  • Kool & The Gang
  • Robin Thicke
  • Pharrell Williams
  • Jay-Z
  • Swizz Beats
  • Pusha T
  • Timbaland
  • Macklemore
  • Ozzy Osbourne / Black Sabbath
  • No Age
  • Janelle Monae
  • Fleet Foxes
  • Fleetwood Mac
  • Fleetwood Foxes
  • U2
  • The Postal Service
  • Big Freedia
  • Major Lazer
  • Zombies
  • Sebadoh
  • Lou Barlow / J Mascis / Murph / Dinosaur Jr.
  • Steely Dan
  • Death Cab for Cutie
  • Parquet Courts
  • Metz
  • Pity Sex
  • The World is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die
  • Mavis Staples
  • Taj Mahal
  • Robert Plant / Led Zeppelin
  • Foreigner
  • Night Ranger
  • Dread Zeppelin
  • Led Zeppagain
  • Lez Zeppelin
  • Jeffrey Lewis
  • Wild Ones
  • My Body
  • Genders
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Episode 36: When Labels Matter

Here’s our new episode, and many thanks to Party Damage Records co-founder Ben Hubbird for joining us on the show! You can listen above, or right-click HERE to download!

Topic:

  • Record labels
  • What is the purpose of a record label?
  • What labels have become synonymous with a certain aesthetic, or a certain level of quality?
  • How can a label nurture an artist, and push them forward as musicians?
  • What are labels good for anymore, in an age when bands can self-release music?

Songs Used:

Bands Mentioned:

  • Joe Haege
  • Vin Blanc/White Wine
  • Your Rival
  • Hugh Masekela
  • Larry Willis
  • Dissy Gillespie
  • Louie Armstrong
  • Lovefoxxx / CSS
  • !!!
  • Courtney Taylor-Taylor / Dandy Warhols
  • Pharmakon
  • Swans
  • Geoff Rickly / Thursday
  • Natasha Kmeto
  • Squarepusher
  • Y La Bamba
  • Grant-Lee Philips
  • John Prine
  • Drake
  • Miguel
  • Tegan & Sara
  • Foster the People
  • Fun
  • John Cage
  • Kanye West
  • Lil’ Wayne
  • RZA / Wu Tang Clan
  • Marilyn Manson
  • Omega
  • Nina Simone
  • TNGHT
  • Nurse With Wound
  • Nick Lowe
  • The Wild Ones
  • The Beatles
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Wilco
  • My Bloody Valentine
  • Neil Young
  • David Byrne / Talking Heads
  • Eric Victorino / Strata
  • Daft Punk
  • Boards of Canada
  • Aphex Twin
  • Rodriguez
  • Darondo
  • The Bats
  • Jesus & Mary Chain
  • Superchunk
  • Arcade Fire
  • Macklemore
  • Lumineers
  • Mark Eitzel / American Music Club
  • Levon Helm
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REVIEW: Kanye West – Yeezus

There are times when we have trouble separating the artist from their actions. This is a common theme on Faces on the Radio, where an artist can make their music hard to take seriously, because they themselves are, in one way or another, insufferable. Kanye West is this way for a lot of people. For a lot of people, he’s the top of the list when it comes to “rappers who take themselves too seriously”, and he seems, at times, to be allergic to not making himself look like an idiot. Be it the incident at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards (you know the one), or the Hurricane Katrina benefit concert on ABC in 2005 (you also know the one). In the lead-up to album #6, Yeezus, West compared himself to everyone from Michael Jackson to Steve Jobs. It can be hard to not cringe when you hear about the things he does.

But, for the sake of the music itself, let’s take a step aside and talk about Kanye West the artist, rather than Kanye West the entity.

A few things stand out when you first listen to Yeezus, and one of the first things you will notice is that it’s a very strange record for West. He’s no stranger to stylistic changes, such as the switch-up that occurred when he decided to follow up his brightly-produced Graduation with the autotuned, almost hypothermic breakup record 808s & Heartbreak. There are no clear singles on Yeezus, even though he performed “New Slaves” and “Black Skinhead” on Saturday Night Live to promote the record; these songs are far too aggressive to really work on Top 40 stations at the moment, to say nothing of the content of the songs (more on this in a bit). It’s his shortest album to date, in both track listing (Yeezus is a scant 10 tracks) and album length (It clocks in at only 40 minutes, with the average length being around 3-4 minutes long). There’s only one actual guest verse (courtesy of King L on “Send It Up”), unless you count the odd instance of Frank Ocean appearing more as a sample than anything on “New Slaves”. It’s all slightly alien for an artist known for lush, jam-packed records, stuffed with guest stars, interludes, skits, the whole nine yards.

Of course, the most notable thing about Yeezus is that it’s one of the most aggressive hip-hop records I’ve heard in recent memory, easily comparable to Dalek or (most recently) Death Grips. There are a few moments that come off as almost militant, and though this is nothing new for West – see the lyrics to “Crack Music” for some of the sewn seeds that, in some ways, brought us here – but it lasts for quite a long time on the record. For all of their disco leanings, Daft Punk (who produced four of the albums tracks) spend a decent amount of time ensuring that the discerning listener will have tinnitus by the time they take their headphones out at the end of the album. “On Sight” is almost reminiscent of the intro to the aforementioned Death Grips album opener “Come Up and Get Me”, and “Black Skinhead” sounds so much like Marilyn Manson’s “The Beautiful People” that Hypetrak actually had to get the production arm of the record to confirm that they weren’t sampling Manson. Even in the last third of the album, when it simmers down a considerable amount, the production is fairly sparse and a bit alien, in terms of West’s catalog; witness as Nina Simone’s cover of Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” is twisted together with TNGHT’s “R U Ready” which snake  in tandem through the six-minutes of “Blood on the Leaves”. It’s an interesting combination, to be sure.

At this point, it’s necessary to actually talk about West himself on the record. “Yeezus season approacheth / Fuck whatever y’all been hearing”, he intones right off the bat on “On Sight”. While his tone is abrasive, he’s still got a decent amount of humor: “Yeah, I know she likes chocolate men / She got more niggas off than Cochran”, “Soon as I pull up and park the Benz, we’ll get this bitch shakin’ like Parkinson’s”. One of the biggest lyrical complaints that I have is that West takes himself far too seriously on this record, as these couple lines are really the only intentionally funny moments on the record – other than the excellent couplet “Slightly scratch your Corolla / Okay, I smashed your Corolla”. After this, he gets angry, referencing Malcolm X more than once, and essentially compares the recording industry to a collective of slave traders. “Good Life” and “Heard ‘Em Say” feel like a million miles away. Included in the album is a massive song called “I Am A God”, in which he compares himself to Michael Jackson and Jesus himself. It’s the height of rapper hubris, even when you take into account the fact that the title itself is actually a reference to the Bible (Psalm 82:6 — “I said, ‘You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you'”, in case you were wondering). It would be an incredibly cringeworthy track, if not for the fact that it’s likely one of the best tracks on the album.

Ultimately, Yeezus is not the album that it should be. The first half of the album is incredibly tight, but the unfortunate thing is that it begins to wander a grave amount in its back half. “I’m In It” is likely the most disposable track that he’s ever made, and “Bound 2” is, in the words of FOTR’s own Yousef Hatlani, “annoying”, with a sample that overstays its welcome approximately 45-seconds into the runtime. “Guilt Trip” and “Blood on the Leaves” are great songs, but the two seem adrift in a sea of forgettable tracks and sub-par sequencing. Then, there are the lines that plain and simple fall completely flat. Do we really need the line “Eatin’ Asian pussy, all I need was sweet and sour sauce”? Probably not, and we definitely don’t need the laughable “I am a god, in a French-ass restaurant / Hurry up with my damn croissants”.

Can you believe it has been two-and-a-half years since My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy dropped? This far on, that album still makes everything that West puts his name on look bad in comparison. It’s incredibly possible that, while listening to Yeezus, I’m remembering how grandiose that album was, despite the fact that he made it look so incredibly easy. He’s been busy since then: he’s taken part in two albums (Watch the Throne with Jay-Z and Cruel Summer, the hit-and-miss collection put out by he and his G.O.O.D. Music collaborators), not to mention the fact that, at the time of this writing, West is likely holding his approximately-24-hour-old daughter, whom he had with his girl-who’s-a-superstar-all-from-a-home-movie Kim Kardashian. His cup is overflowing just a bit. However, if West had put in a few more months in the studio working on Yeezus, we would likely be looking at a completely different record. The run between “On Sight” and “Can’t Hold My Liquor” is one of the tightest sections of any of his records, but most of what lies beyond that feels slightly half-baked and unrealized. He’s onto something with this new sound, but it’s a little unfocused. I’ve been a fan of West since Late Registration, and while I can make attempts at looking past his non-musical antics, I get the feeling that we may have to wait a little while before he makes something jaw-dropping again.

In short: Yeezus season does not approacheth.

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