Ye, the eighth studio album from Kanye West, is a time capsule of current events. From the nature and events surrounding the titular artist, everything about the record acts as a mirror reflecting the past 3 months since West reactivated his social media. While Kanye has always been reactionary, this album takes this concept to a whole new level, as West himself has been quoted as saying that he re-did the album after the infamous TMZ interview. The album cover was even done in a few seconds, which is an iPhone photo that Kanye had done on the drive to the album release party and scribbled “I hate being bipolar, it’s awesome.” Almost every line from the record relating to a controversial event from the past month, from the Stormy Daniels incident to Kim Kardashian almost leaving him for saying slavery was a choice in a live interview. The songs themselves range from minimalist with almost barebones production to a very sophisticated and layered sound, like the subtle drum beats on “Wouldn’t Leave” and the baroque and over the top samples and performances on “Ghost Town” and “No Mistakes.” Performances from every feature are spot-on and hypnotic, from big names like Nas, Kid Cudi, and Nicki Minaj, to the smaller musical talents of Kanye’s label, like Valee and 070 Shake. Everything about this album is very solid, both in the sound and lyricism department, but the very nature of the album leaves it to be one of the most underwhelming Kanye albums to date. While every Kanye record can be traced back to a ground shattering sound that influenced the entire rap game, Ye is unfortunately empty, and feels soulless at times. Every Kanye album is timeless, but Ye feels rooted in time period. While it will definitely enjoyed if any songs happen to come on the radio, if someone happens to have any other record of his, or any other new releases, Ye will unfortunately be overlooked for adventures in new sounds and ideas. It’s truly sad to see one of my favorite artists and game changers take one step forward and two steps back.
SCORE – 6/10