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Kanye West 'The Life of Pablo' TBT


Rest Easy Jared '95-'14
Jul 1, 2013
Boston, MA
I wanna spend some more time on the site, so i'm gonna try to do these Track by Track reviews every time i get around to hearing a project. Heres no. 1

So this is now the seventh Kanye project and I gotta say, dude is still kicking. After 'Yeezus' in 2013 I think a lot of people lost faith in Kanye (I love that project though). Expectations were extremely high after 2010's 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy' and for a lot of people 'Yeezus' wasn't what they were expecting. I had no clue what to expect when it came to this new project, all the buzz leading up to MSG show, the title-changes, track-changes, twitter rants, twitter beef had me a little confused. The first thing I heard leading up to 'Pablo' was that single 'All Day', which didn't even make the album. After that we heard the Kanye/Rihanna/Paul McCartney collarb FourFiveSeconds, and then 'Only One', neither of which made the cut. Fast forward a few months and things start getting hot. We start getting album titles, So Help Me God > Swish > Waves > The Life of Pablo. And then, as of the last month or so we started seeing track-lists, which changed rapidly. All in all, the lead-up to this album has been extremely messy. Which is funny because this is the first Kanye album I've ever heard that sounds kind of messy (hopefully intentional). Its probably Kanye's least concise, but makes up for it in its beautiful moments and broad array of sound.

1. Ultra Light Beam
Probably Kanye's best album into ever. Huge, open gospel rap. Quotes like "This is a God Dream" and "Pray for Paris", make this track memorable. But, even more than Kanye himself Chance the Rapper manages to deliver probably his best performance to date; "I met Kanye west I'm never going to fail". Kelly Price and The-Dream supply the vocals here, and i must say they're both killer. All in all, the song is fucking huge. Perfect start.

2. Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1
KID CUDI'S VOCALS ON THIS TRACK ARE UNFORGETTABLE. I love this track. Cudi kicks it off with one of my favorite Kanye hooks ever, over some rattling hi-hats and piano chords. This song also feels pretty big, its way less spacious than the opener but its got a great groove. "I just wanna feel liberated", Kanye belts out over 808's era auto-tune, weaving in and out of the verse. The song is pretty steady all the way through, there are some extremely ridiculous lines one of which "If I fuck this model / and she just bleached her ass hole / and I get bleach on my t-shirt / I'm gone' feel like an ass hole" made me tear up in laughter. But I think this songs saving grace (other than that hook) is ultimately its ability to transition smoothly into the next. I love this song.

3. Pt. 2
This song is basically a flipped version of recent G.O.O.D. Music signee Desiigner's 'Panda', with some looped Kanye vocals and some samples. Its a banger no-doubt. I kinda wish they just got Future instead of this Desiigner guy, cause at times he sounds wayyyyy to much like him. As far as content goes, its sort of a love song of some kind. Kanye just wants to wake up in the morning with you. Song is fucking awesome.

4. Famous
Rihanna fucking blows away the hook here, probably her best vocals i've heard in a while. This song has been overshadowed by the Taylor Swift drama (opening line: "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex, why? I made that bitch famous") , but still remains to be one of the best songs on the album. Theres Wake-Up Mr. West Samples in here, and some weird ass Reggae sample on the outro that feels great every time i hear it. This is the first song on the album that feels like grimy, braggadocios Kanye.

5. Feedback
This one sounds like some re-worked amped-up 'Yeezus' deep cut. I fucking love this song. "I've been out of my mind a long time" The groove on this one is unreal, I can't help but to go fucking crazy every time I hear it. We're hearing Kanye tackle his public image for the first time on the record.

6. Low Lights
This just a drawn out intro to 'Highlights', theres this whole speech thing going on that tends to recede behind the punchy chords building up in the background. Its nothing special, but it works as a clear pathway to Highlights.

7. Highlights
This one is growing on me. Chords are fucking beautiful, and at first I wanted a lot more out of Thugger but turns out I like how they used his voice here. I still don't really care for the first verse, but after then its smooth sailing. I also love the backup vocals here, not sure who's doing them but they sound great. "I wanna know if you a freak or not"

8. Freestyle 4
This is the grimiest track on the album. It opens up with some freaky strings and Kanye growling, and then theres this whole "If we fucked right now, What if we fucked right in the middle of this dinner table" thing going on that makes for a good laugh. But, its also a really good song. A little short imo, I love the Desiigner vocals on the outro though.

9. I Love Kanye
This is Kanye Stand up. Go hear this.
"I love you like Kanye loves Kanye"

10. Waves
So this is the track that delayed the album a day. Chance fought for it to be on the album, but i'm just not seeing it. I like the Chris Brown vocals and stuff but i'm still not a huge fan of it. Probably my least favorite track on the album, but I really like the auto-tune vocal synths on the second half. It will probably grow on me.

11. FML
This might be my favorite on the album. Its spacious, dark, honest, and we get a taste of that vulnerable Kanye here. He confronts his Mothers passing, his family, ambition, and his ego. The Weeknd fucking kills this hook. I find myself going back to this song quite often. And the outro to this song is my favorite moment on the album all together. Kanye croons over some weird sludgy rock sample, with some pitched vocals that sound like children. Its actually terrifying, but its fucking beautiful. "They don't want to see my love you"

12. Real Friends
This is where Kanye breaks out the big boy bars. Kanye talks betrayal, trust, and his kids here. It sounds a little like 'Wolves' at times which sort of confuses me here and there but it doesn't take away. Ty Dolla $ign supplies some vocals here and there, they're growing on me. I really like the little whistly part at the end too, nice touch.

13. Wolves
So apparently the of this song on Tidal might change. Originally when we heard this song last year, he performed it on SNL with Vic Mensa and Sia. Both of them have been cut on this version, and replaced with modern music's favorite recluse, Frank Ocean. This song is growing on me heavy, I really like Kanye's vocals here. The bars are just tough enough, and the howling sample keeps the song building. Frank closes it with some light vocals over some light chords. Beautiful.

14. Silver Surfer Intermission
This is a prison phone call from Max B, to Kanye giving him his blessing to use the term "Waves". Its kind of fucking stupid. I get it, I like Max B, but we really just didn't need it here. I skip it every time.

15. 30 Hours
This song is fucking crazy. Big Boy Bars are back, over some 80's car chase shit. "I hit the gym all chest no legs". The outro to this song is a little drawn out, Andre 3000 does some vocals near the end. I still love this one though, the hook is infectious. I'd like to see more of this paced-up disco shit from Kanye.

16. No More Parties in LA
When Kanye tops Kendrick, we know Kanye can still rap. Bars are on display here, the beat is fucking perfect. Theres this looping guitar stringy sample throughout the whole thing and its layered really well. For the "I miss the old Kanye" Kanye fans, this one will be an undeniable favorite. Some of Kanye's braggadocio rubs off on K. Dot and it makes for some special moments.

17. Facts
So I liked this song from the get-go, I'm kind of surprised it made it on the album because it didn't seem like something Ye would keep for the final. But I really like the re-worked version, the beat is way better here, and Its been growing on me. I still like the jumpman-parody-nike-diss, but if you have no interest in Kanye's fashion affairs, you probably won't care for this one. "Yeezy, Yeezy, Yeezy just jumped over Jumpman"

18. Fade
So I like this song, but I really don't care for it as the outro. I would have rather had Wolves as the outro, and throw this guy somewhere in the middle. It has this really punch bass line that drives the whole thing, Its one of the tracks of the record that for me, I wouldn't mind cutting. Its not terrible or anything, but for me its just not working yet. There are parts I really like though. I like the little snippets of Ty Dolla $igns vocals, and the Kanye bars aren't bad. And then theres this part near the end where it feels like its gonna break through, but it ends up coming right back around. I also really like the gospel vocals layered through. If this song was't pushed to the end, I would have liked it a lot more.

Over all, this album is really fucking good. I could have gone without the Silver Surfer Intermission, and maybe cut 'Fade', or even better just switch it around with 'Wolves'. This is one of Kanye's most polarizing yet, its easily his most broad. At times it feels like Kanye got a little caught up trying to do too much, but its not a deal breaker. The special moments on this record make this one of Kanye's best to date.


Stream on Tidal.

Champagne Charlie

Jul 28, 2011
United Kingdom
I really enjoy TLOP. The album release was very sloppy but overall the album is pretty damn good. I am a big fan of Fade as I like Ty and Post Malone, their voices seem to go perfectly together. However, my favourite song on the album is easily FML. It just sounds like a throwback to older Kanye which I love.
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