Kanye West

Nevermind the Saturday Night Live fiasco, Kanye West has been one of the most popular and best-selling musical artists over the last 5 years. All this despite his annoying personality. It is proof that it is the talent that counts and not the person. He continues his excellent album releases with his latest.

"808s & Heartbreak" is only West's fourth album release and he has already won 10 Grammys. He might continue his winning ways with this album. Again he pushes musical boundaries. The first single was the incredibly catchy (the guy knows how to write a hook) "Love Lockdown" and it got tons of radio play. Next up was "Heartless" and it also caused a stir.

Some might be surprised about the sound of this album as it certainly is a change of direction for West. He has said in interviews that the album was largely about the dissolution of his engagement and the death of his beloved mother. If you take the time to listen to the lyrics you will see that the album is a darker one. The album works well as a whole – telling the story of a man who was feeling very alone while writing it.

It makes sense that the beats would follow along. Make no mistake, there are still monster beats on songs like "Love Lockdown", but there are also some slower songs on the album. He also sings more on the album rather than rapping exclusively. The vocals are distorted by plenty of slap-back echo (popular today). It might take a few listens for you to really appreciate this album

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