Amid bizarre Twitter rants, multiple album name changes and tracklist revisions, Kanye West has finally released his long overdue seventh studio album, The Life of Pablo.
The album’s release was preceded by a worldwide live stream event, in which West debuted his Yeezy Season 3 collection and premiered the album in full at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The album’s opening track “Ultralight Beam” features Chance The Rapper, as well as vocals from Kirk Franklin, The-Dream and Kelly Price, which gives the song a gospel sound. “Ultralight Beam” sets the themes for the entire album; maximalism, wealth, power, and egocentrism.
A notable track, “Famous”, opens with Rihanna sampling Nina Simone’s “Do What You Gotta Do”. The track caused controversy before the album’s release for containing the lyric “I feel like me and Taylor [Swift] might still have still have sex. Why? I made that bitch famous.” West has since responded to the critics by tweeting that he had previously spoken with Swift and claims that she gave him her blessing for the lyric.
The following track, “Feedback”, is one of only three songs on the album that don’t contain additional vocals. It features Kanye rapping over a simple instrumental containing a sample of microphone feedback combined with a synthesizer.
Overall, the production on the album is remarkable, specifically when the Weeknd-assisted “FML” transitions into “Real Friends” which then transitions into “Wolves”, which notably sees Frank Ocean returning from a long hiatus.
The Life of Pablo has the feel of a classic hip-hop record, complete with interludes, collaborations with A-listers, and assistance from multiple producers.
The album is currently available for streaming and purchase exclusively on TIDAL.
Download Recommendations: “Ultralight Beam”, “Famous”, “Waves”, “Feedback”, “Real Friends”, “Wolves”