One of the most anticipated releases of 2016 is Kanye West’s new album The Life of Pablo. After switching the title from Swish, to Waves, then ultimately The Life of Pablo, there was a lot of hype leading up to this release. Being Kanye’s seventh studio album, we all know the man comes from a rich history of dropping classic music. However, if you recall in 2013 I reviewed Yeezus, and did not really care too much for it. I mean there were some interesting parts, but it was too odd for comfort. The Life of Pablo is a more comfortable fit compared to Yeezus, however it falls a bit short of all the hype.
Think of The Life of Pablo as a play starring Kanye West alongside a cast of many artists at the forefront of hip-hop minus Drake. What I felt that at many times throughout the album, Kanye beat us over the head with the religious references and themes. Although he did explain in a tweet that the record was going to be a gospel album, it’s hard to take seriously with Kanye’s foul mouthed lyrics and erratic behavior. So I wasn’t all too keen on the opening track “Ultra Light Beam” with Chance the Rapper.
Let’s talk about what songs I did like on the album. The second song, “Father Stretch My Hands, pt. 1” has a such a dope hook provided by Kid Cudi. The following part two of this song I didn’t really care for because it was too trap-ish. Although I’m not a Rihanna fan, the song “Famous” which features her is really interesting and the two have great chemistry on the track. It was cool to see how Kanye and The Weeknd came together on “FML.” One of the nicest melodies on the record is on the next song “Real Friends” featuring Ty Dolla $ign. Then there’s “Wolves” featuring Frank Ocean and Caroline Shaw which has a similar vibe to “Street Lights” from 808s and Heartbreaks. Now the single so to say, is “No More Parties in LA” featuring Kendrick Lamar. This track is dope too, but don’t expect to hear the hottest verse ever from either emcee. Backtracking to the acapella “I Love Kanye,” this was interesting and caught me off guard. Last but not least “Fade” featuring Post Malone and Ty Dolla $ign has a nice groove to it, however wouldn’t be the perfect way I’d describe to close out a big record like this one.
All and all, The Life of Pablo is an enjoyable album from start to finish. Does it live up to the hype Kanye gave it? Of course not, but from what he’s put together I have to give The Life of Pablo a 4/5 palms.
Watch my video review and discussion on The Life of Pablo here: