My Dark Twisted Fantasy CD Review

Elissa Chudwin, Entertainment Editor

Always a fan of attention, it’s no surprise that Kanye West has been the focal point of celebrity gossip ever since he stole Taylor Swift’s limelight in 2009.  He’s generated just as much controversy as he has album sales, causing the average person to overlook his talent as a musician. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was released just in time to remind us that West isn’t just an oversized ego, but one of the most talented artists to date.

Departing from the heavy auto-tune and somber lyrics of his last studio album, 808’s and Heartbreak, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy takes a different larger-than-life approach.  Intricate drumbeats replace the constant use of 808 and there are more guest appearances than there are songs.  Rather than talk about loss and heartbreak, West takes us through an ego trip where even the worst of jerk-offs are praised. As much as one hates to admit it, soon they’ll be toasting Kanye and the rest of the jerks too. After all, they inspired one of the best albums of 2010.

Despite the seemingly elaborate production, Fantasy is far from being over-produced.  The album opens with “Dark Fantasy,” in which Nicki Minaj provides an introduction in a British accent instructing the audience to “zip it, listen,” and that’s exactly what happens the minute West begins rapping over a combination of piano, drums, and strings. The rest of the album continues by using actual instrumentals, rather than constantly using samples. To say the least, it’s a breath of fresh air.

Fantasy also displays Kanye’s talent for producing.  He collaborates with artists from Bon Iver to Rihanna to Kid Cudi, and despite their differences, the vocals mesh perfectly.  For instance, listen to the track All of the Lights. Rihanna sings the hook, while Fergie, Alicia Keys, John Legend, and Elly Jackson of La Roux also make an appearance. Random? Possibly.  Catchy? Without a doubt.  Even with all the other Top 40 artists, West controls the direction of each song with ease 99% of time (the final 1% goes to Nicki Minaj for her cameo in Monsters).

My Dark Twisted Fantasy doesn’t leave much for imagination. It has moments where it’s just as strange as the title suggests, and Kanye doesn’t refrain from saying what’s on his mind. At the same time, it doesn’t need to be sugar coated to be worth turning up.  No matter how many times he tells his fans to run away, this CD will leave them toasting scumbags for years to come.