My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is here, and it's ridiculous.

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

After a year of using every platform 2010 has to offer to talk, Kanye West has fallen silent. The thing this was all about, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, is out now, and Kanye has every right to gloat. The reviews couldn't be better. And yet his website remains as it was last week. His notorious Twitter account, hasn't been touched since November 15, and, not coincidentally, the last thing he said was about Nicki Minaj's album.

We're left with the music, finally. This morning, I went to Wax Trax to buy an actual, factual copy of the thing. When I was checking out, I asked if they'd had a lot of people in to buy MBDTF. The answer: Not really. "We've sold a couple," to be precise.

I realize that one morning at one CD store, a CD store that does not generally cater to Kanye West fans, is not a good gauge of the national opinion here. But it did make me wonder: How much of the critical response to this album is a result of the fact that Kanye West has given music writers more to talk about in 2010 than anyone in, well, forever?

I don't mean to suggest that critics gave dishonest reviews because they are secretly in cahoots with Kanye. Just that we music writers have all necessarily spent a lot of time thinking about this man and his music lately, both good things and bad things. So when we hear MBDTF, we cannot possibly treat it evenly. We, as an industry, have been working on this review for over a year.

So I won't bother to spend much time telling you why this album is great. What I will say is that it is the musical equivalent of standing at the very edge of a thousand-foot cliff. It's a thrilling thing to listen to. Everything about it is huge and grandiose, but it's also a surprisingly risky album: song lengths regularly over five minutes, long stretches of uncomfortable exposition, instruments and voices so mangled they're barely more than noise.

But I wouldn't take my word for it. I asked a non-music writer friend how her opinion of Kanye West had changed over the past year, and she said she's never had much of an opinion. And there's no way for me to know what this album sounds like to her.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.