Graduation

Kanye West

Roc-A-Fella, 2007

http://www.kanyewest.com

REVIEW BY: Ben Ehrenreich

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 10/15/2007

Graduation is Kanye West’s worst album…and yet it might be the best one at putting a smile on your face, as it's still pretty damn good.

It is almost impossible to sit through a listening of Graduation without smirking at a clever metaphor, nodding your head to a booming beats or just full-out dancing to the joyous explosion that is erupting from your speakers.

Graduation is much like a graduation ceremony -- an upbeat celebration with the occasional trip down memory lane. Kanye got rid of his patented skits and most of the guest appearances and left a disc that’ll seem to be over shortly after you press play.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Kanye completely revamped his production style (once again) to create probably his best-produced album to date. The down side to this musical manifesto is that he occasionally slacks off in the lyrics department, more so than he did on his past two albums. For instance, “Good Life” is a very addictive, joyful anthem that contains a great beat and some very insightful lines. The problem lies when halfway through each verse he starts shouting out random cities, much like a babbling MTV VJ would do. This song is still very enjoyable, but could have been improved tenfold without the geography lesson.

That’s not to say there are not remarkable songs here. The first two songs on Graduation are extremely strong and are good choices to kick off the album. “Good Morning”, the opener, contains Kanye killing it over a simple but deadly drum beat that concludes with a nice Jay-Z sample. This is followed by the highlight of the album, “Champion,” wherein Kanye spits two great verses about his father and adolescence over a very fitting Steely Dan sample. This is Kanye at his best, because this song allows him to switch up his charismatic flow while dropping meaningful punch lines and metaphors as if this were part of his phenomenal debut, The College Dropout.

Kanye West is an artist. Period. There are very few artists today whom, when they put out an album, you feel you must hear it; they have the ability to reinvent themselves and you wouldn’t want to miss what they do next. Kanye West most definitely falls into that category and delivers no disappointment with Graduation, the third installment of his ongoing career.

If anything, Graduation, much like a real graduation, gives hope for the future and tremendous promise of things to come. Although it is overshadowed by its two predecessors, this is not one to be dismissed. Don’t miss the celebration.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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