Category: Album Reviews


Kanye West

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Def Jam/Roc-a-Fella

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“I’m trying to right my wrongs/But it’s funny these same wrongs helped me write this song.”  In many ways, these two lines from 2005’s “Touch the Sky” epitomize the Kanye West narrative.  For all the troubles of his personal life, West’s albums serve as a catharsis.  His music is always an honest reflection of his emotions, and over four albums he established himself as one of the few consistently fantastic and innovative artists in pop music.  And My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is no exception.  After having been criticized by everyone from George W. Bush to Barack Obama in the past year, he could have retreated into the same brooding Auto-Tuned electropop of 808s & Heartbreaks; rather, West returns with a triumphant, bold magnum opus that recognizes his hubris is his greatest trait and serves as the climax of his previous records.

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Taylor Swift

Speak Now

Big Machine

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The string of celebrity boyfriends.  The swarms of adoring teenage girls.  The Kanye incident at the VMAs.  As Taylor Swift ascended to superstardom over the past two years, it has been easy to lose sight of one thing: the twenty-one-year-old is a formidable songwriter.  Swift has always had a remarkable penchant for channeling her inner emotions into country-pop songs with massive choruses; “You Belong With Me” perfectly expressed adolescent unrequited love.  Speak Now finds Swift, without any co-writers, maturely confronting her celebrity while still retaining her optimism and sincerity about love.

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