Best of 2008.
I was recently inspired by my best mate to review my favourite music from last year (in order to make him a CD of the resultant tracks for his birthday), and thought I’d share the result with you. In reverse order.
#08 .: Kanye West, 808s And Heartbreak
I can’t lie, I would’ve been perfectly happy to let this one pass right by without ever listening to it; though I was a huge fan of Kanye’s Late Registration record, what I heard of his third effort, Graduation, played over like a lot of bullshit.
I don’t know why, it just came off way, way wrong; I saw all the videos, downloaded some tracks from iTunes and the like, it just all seemed off.
One thing I noticed as a recurring theme in all the tracks I heard was that Ye would setup a verse, get maybe three brilliant lines into it, and then wreck it with a fourth rhyme that was about the stupidest bullshit ever. I couldn’t place it, cos he’s got a great mind on him, but it was rough.
And then came along 808s And Heartbreak, which I ignored until my best mate Slava declared to be his favourite album of the whole year… the hugest compliment I can ever think of him giving music of any kind. As such, I gave it a chance and have to say it’s about the chillest, truest hip-hop album I’ve heard in a while.
One thing I truly love about it is that Ye has started singing on the record – it’s not all flows and posturing, it’s actually very soulful and interesting. And his work with the melodies is more experimental than I was expecting… I love the Peter Gabriel-esque groove behind Say You Will.
Nicole and I recently started having our own private listening parties (actually carving out time in our schedules just to listen to music together) and we checked this record out last month. It was very well received, among the best we’ve had the pleasure of sharing. Now I’m sharing it with you.
Slava personally recommended the song Street Lights, which I’ve included here above; the ‘video’ is actually just the song, but I agree that it’s the best on the disc, and perfectly characteristic of the record. Find yourself a copy soon.