Kanye West’s latest album “808’s & Heartbreak” disappoints some fans, but reveals West’s bravery and commitment to himself. It seems that Kanye West’s usual formula of doing the unexpected backfires. Instead of taking the soulful emcee approach, West chooses to sing this time around. “808’s & Heartbreak” serves a 1st person view into West’s chaotic and tragedy ridden world dealing with the loss of his mother and breakup with his ex-girlfriend. Throughout the entire album, West uses the popular auto-tune technique (a voice feature that gives artists a robotic-like sound, also correcting pitch) while singing, which magnifies his immense pain as he shares it with listeners.
Self- named the “Louis Vuitton Don”, Kanye is usually heard rhyming about
how insecure he feels if he doesn’t sport certain brand names when in the public eye. On the song “Real Boy”, Kanye expresses how un-important clothing is in the wake of his mother’s death: “There’s no Gucci I can buy/ there’s no Louis Vuitton to put on/ no clothing that I could buy/ that could turn back the time”. Furthermore, on the song “See you in my Nightmares”, West attempts to rid himself of the haunting memories of his ex girlfriend: “After tonight there will be no return/ tell everybody that you know/ that I don’t love you no more/you do you and I will be fine”. As one would imagine that, after two soul shattering events as a death and breakup, one would be speechless. Kanye exhibits a loss for words on “Say you Will and Bad news” as he lets the instrumental play for a combined 5 min.
In conclusion, this album lacks the vast topic range and flare which makes Kanye such a great artist as shown on his first two albums. The amount of heartbreak ballads and lack of rapping may disappoint even the casual Kanye fan, but Kanye's album defines him as a true artist as he releases whatever he feels not caring about negative media or opinion. One bright aspect about this album is that, it forces one to revisit times of heartbreak and loss which is believed to be its original intent.