THREE tracks into his new album, Kanye West cuts to the chase with a song called I Am A God, dripping with arrogance and horribly self-assured. The French café routine is laughable and a little ludicrous – “hurry up with my damn croissants” indeed.
Def Jam, £14.99
Rating: * * *
Alternatively, you could just read it as a simple, honest statement of the way things are on Planet West, a cornucopia of urban cliché and rhythm and blues regulation. On Sight floats like a bee and stings like a mofo, but he pushes his luck on Black Skinhead, which borrows Glitter Band drum patterns over a mock classical history rap.
Blood On The Leaves is slightly better, achieving the impossible by almost making Auto-Tune interesting. However, the samples of Billie Holiday are crass and rather clueless, ticking reference boxes with a lamentable lack of understanding of the human condition.
By the time we conclude with Bound 2, it feels as though West has decided that maintaining an air of decorum is no longer worth the effort. Throughout, though, the posturing of a fabulously wealthy man as still being a son of the street smacks of desperation. Or stupidity.
Misplaced machismo aside, this feisty and forthright Kanye has pretensions to be the real deal. New Slaves might have been the chance to make some salient points, had it not sunk knee-deep in ghetto speak and lost focus.
Still, there is plenty of sizzle on this album, and sometimes it’s even enough to disguise the lack of any actual sausage.
Download this: Blood On The Leaves, On Sight
Rating: * * *