Album Review: Kanye West – ye

Friday, June 8, 2018

Hot coals. Piles and piles of steamin’ hot coals. The social media stratosphere has shot-glassed an extra dousing of steroids since the new-found return of unofficial monk, Kan-hip-hop-hooryay (Wicked Rapper of the Mid) West.

Controversies aside, it is safe to say that musicheads worldwide stomachs, livers and hearts imploded inside out from the announcement of the Chi-town artist’s brand spanking new car smell album.

‘Lift Yourself’ is the first escaping ant of West’s 2018 inventory of releases, where this 2-minute ‘avant-garde-Whoopi Goldberg-scat’ appears to exist as its own living entity. Sounds as though West had a nightcap epiphany at 4am and a creative itch needed to be scratched immediately.

The beauty of music is that there is no correct or incorrect way to interpret this glorious art form. And with not ‘Ye’, nor ‘YE’, but ‘ye’, especially, the not so media-ocre Internet universe continues to be a spiralling goldmine of infinite opinion.

Shot on the Wild Wild West’s very own, ’you used to call me on my cell phone’, the album cover is a complete juxtaposition from the Helvetica bold, statement confidence of ‘The Life of Pablo’, or loud loss of identity ‘Yeezus’. If anything its serenity is almost reminiscent to the aura of ‘808s’ – like that distant cousin you think about but haven’t seen for years.

7 songs long, and the shortest of West’s albums, it garners high expectations for each candle to be a lickable Venus de Milo masterpiece. When it’s all said and done, ‘ye’ is a beautiful body of work. It’s nonchalant, vulnerably naked, and unlocks the hidden key to Kanye’s true feels.

A cloud of cannabis fills the air. The first couple of tracks are a pack of streetwear youths head nodding till their necks snap off, while West simultaneously ingrains in their brains, “the most beautiful thoughts are always besides the darkest” through a megaphone. More or less, a potential depiction of the album listening partay rendezvous that unfolded upon mountains in oxygenating Wyoming.

“Will car hydraulics be the entire vibe of ‘ye’?”

Thankfully, there is well and truly delish dreamboat diversity, transitioned by the seeping slow sway of ‘Wouldn’t Leave’, piggybacked by Charlie Wilson-infused ‘No Mistakes’. This classic Kanye flavoured hook hits you with a crumb of nostalgia, but before you can fully soak in the bliss, ‘Ghost Town’ goosebump-ingly creeps up like a charming alleyway cat.

“Who is this divine fetus-MJ slash mystery prepubescent lad?” She, actually, is 070 Shake – by far the shining gold star on ‘Ghost Town’. Her outro…feels, feels and more séance feels *cue the complementary Space Invaders effects*.

It must be said that listeners are now officially crying in the club. Meanwhile, West is somewhere in a hidden studio cave cutting up buckets of onions and laughing hysterically in the midst of planning his next scheme.

But the emo-shuns don’t stop here. Last but definitely not least, West’s voice box makes an ‘on his knees’ genie return at 1:08 in coming-of-age ‘Violent Crimes’. Exiting quicker than a city slicker corporate on their morning commute, listeners are left on their toes with a Nicki Minaj voicemail and a sandpaper tongue thirst for more ‘ye’/Ye.

Overall, the initial thirst has been seemingly quenched *turns off hose*.

ye accumulated a down pour of global anticipation sweats, and now birthed, you could say it under delivered from what was expected. But, that is not necessarily a ‘bad’ thing.

There is a homemade, local-muso craftsmanship veil, sheathed atop lightning bolts that radiate from Kanye Omari Calamari West’s skull. It’s genuine to his inner workings , drawing you close enough to clasp the warmth of his 'father stretched' hands.

The magic is certainly still there. Like a black hole in space that has finally been filled, ye is also a reminder of how much we’ve missed West’s music, and the way it has always made us feel for the past two decades and counting.

Written by Sally Hui (@sally__hui)