Greg Note: I will not sugar coat any music I review. I believe that is cheating you as well as me. This as much as any review I post is completely honest. I encourage comments. I’d love to discuss this.

I’m not certain who hates who, or if in fact one video deserved “Best Video” over another. I do know that if I wanted to speak my mind about something, I’d probably write here. I wouldn’t get on TV and tell the world.

I don’t normally consider myself a Kanye fan. So to approach My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy really tested my review abilities. Generalizing Hip Hop lyrics by saying they’re all about Wealth, Exaggeration, Pain, Debauchery, and Sex isn’t fair. I would like to point out that the themes of this, Mr. West’s 5th studio album have been noted as being about Sex, Debauchery, Douchebagery, Pain, Exaggeration, and Wealth. So, well done there. Self-indulgence doesn’t wait until even after the first minute. The album jumps out with a narrative setting up just how we’re about to be shown the evolution of Kanye’s talent.

Among at least 10 other songs sampled, Black Sabbath’s legendary “Iron Man” both in melody and background riffs jumps out. It begs the question of “Is there anything here really worth hearing I haven’t already heard in some form?” I won’t stand here and tell musicians they need to write socially defining lyrics and weave us stories of heroism and overcoming odds or falling in love, but running your voice through a synthesizer does not make it gooder. Yes, I said “gooder”, what?! I’m sorry, I think this album is making me violent. “I think I feel in love with a Porn Star, got married in a bafroom, honeymoon on the dance floor. I got divorced by the end of the night, that’s one hell of a life.” I’m sorry…someone PLEASE tell me what I’m missing here?

7 of the 13 songs come in over five minutes. 7 of the 13 songs also feature other artists. The likes of John Legend, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, and Kid Cudi are all present here. Now I sincerely do believe this need be recognized. There was not a rush to process three minute singles and slam them down the throats of those who choose to subject themselves to this. Compositionally, this album is very well done. It is very well produced. I think I expected that from someone of this caliber, plus, having 14 producers listed doesn’t hurt. There are some very heartfelt vocals that certainly convey their meaning of pain and hurt through style, not entirely through lyrics. With the exception of maybe “Blame Game” this feels oddly generic and bland to me.

I am fully aware I did not start reviewing music to be pretentious. But give me B.o.B., Dre, or even some old school rap any day over this. There has to be something here, but I’m not getting it now – I’ll give it another listen in a few years

Please! Let’s have an open discussion on this. I think there may be a dialogue between Clay and myself already pending.