It's hard to review Kanye West. For me, his releases and music aren't so much about him but what he does with samples and how he integrates them into his beats and produces new songs. Really, none of the lyrics on this cd impress me. I find that I'm listening more to the beats than I am Kanye. And when I do listen, his lyrics are either hit or miss.
What I like most about "Graduation" is the celebratory sound to it. This isn't like "Late Registration" or "The College Dropout". I found those releases had more of a serious tone to it. There really isn't a "Slow Jamz" on here or a "Diamonds from Sierra Leon". This is more like graduation; excitement, freshness, a relief. From the cover to the songs, you get the sense that this is a fusion of Hip-Hop, Pop and R&B. The songs that work best on the release are those with a new sound for Kanye- upbeat, fresh, borderline pop. "Good Life (ft. T-Pain)" is the best track, anthem-style, really well put together and the lyrics work. "Champion", "Stronger", "Flashing Lights" are all exciting and stand-out from Kanye's previous things. "Big Brother" stands out due to it's subject matter of West's views and admiration of Jay-Z and is one of the more introspective tracks. "Homecoming" is an interesting collabo between West and Coldplay's Chris Martin. Other songs are good, but more for their beats than anything, including "I Wonder" and "The Glory". The other songs get lost due to sounding too similar or lacking the consideration and excitement as these other named tracks.
I gave this release four stars because I feel it's hard to really judge a Kanye West cd when he relies so heavily on samples. If you took that element away from his songs, basing it just on his lyrics, this wouldn't be that good of a release at all. I'm also wary of how original you can call it if it has so many samples. But, regardless, it's not bad if you judge it as a total product. Not the best of 2007 but it's good and worth a listen.
I will never forget the hype created by hip-hop fans, Kanye West, and the media over the release of the album, Graduation. Every time I listen to it, it brings me back to the fall of '07. 50 Cent even challenged Kanye to a debut battle, since his album Curtis was also being released the same day as Graduation on September 11, 2007. If Kanye's album outsold 50 Cent's album on the opening week, 50 cent vowed to retire from making music in the industry forever. When the day … more
Kanye West is a genius. Not only does he flow with a barbed wit, he is able to take a variety of forms to add to his hip-hop, rap base. His latest C.D. `Graduation' picks up where `Late Registration' left off. His theme demonstrates the difference between our dreams and life's disappointing realities. Slicker than his last outing, Kanye's titles tell much of the story, but his lyrics nail the subject matter thoroughly. Even the artwork tells his audience … more
Antoine Reid is an innovative graphic designer with over five years experience in print design specializing in promotion and publication design, illustration, and creating dynamic content for the Web. … more
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Graduation is the 3rd installment in the Kanye West series of ground breaking albums, targeting every school kid, from those that have dropped out (Debut Album, College Dropout), to those late registrants (sophmore album Late Registration), to those that have gone on and completed school (current album Graduation). Though technically this earmarks a junior year, West's approach to crafting this album was very much senior. Kanye teams up with veterans Daft Punk and Edwin Birdsong on "Stronger"- Graduation's forthcoming single; as well as enlisting a little help from current chart topper T-Pain on "Good Life". Chris Martin of Coldplay appears on a track called "HomeComing" as well. Kanye has continued to prove his understanding and appreciation for a wide array of music and musical influences. What makes GRADUATION so special? Like most Kanye titles, his fearlessness and blindness to inhibiting boundaries, coupled with his fan driven core competence is evidence that he knows exactly what people yearn for...great music, perspective, and a voice to be heard.