My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

by Kanye WestKanye West


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As fatiguing as it is invigorating, as cold-blooded as it is heart-rending, as haphazardly splattered as it is meticulously sculpted, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is an extraordinarily complex 70-minute set of songs. Listening to it, much like saying or typing its title, is a laborious process. In some ways, it's the culmination of Kanye West's first four albums, but it does not merely draw characteristics from each one of them. The 13 tracks, eight of which are between five and nine minutes in length, sometimes fuse them together simultaneously. Consequently, the sonic and emotional layers are often difficult to pry apart and enumerate. Nothing exemplifies its contrasting elements and maniacal extravagance as much as "All of the Lights." Rattling, raw, synthetic toms are embellished with brass, woodwinds, and strings. It's a celebration of fame ("Fast cars, shooting stars") and a lament of its consequences ("Restraining order/Can't see my daughter"). Its making involved 42 people, including not one but two French horn players and over a dozen high-profile vocalists, only some of which are perceptible. At once, the song features one of the year's most rugged beats while supplying enough opulent detail to make Late Registration collaborator Jon Brion's head spin. "Blame Game" chills more than anything off 808s & Heartbreak. Sullen solo-piano Aphex Twin plays beneath morose cello; with a chorus from John Legend, a dejected, embittered West -- whose voice toggles between naturally clear-sounding and ominously pitched-down as it pans back and forth -- tempers wistfully-written, maliciously-delivered lines like "Been a long time since I spoke to you in a bathroom, ripping you up, fuckin' and chokin' you" with untreated and distinctively pained confessions like "I can't love you this much." The contrast in "Devil in a New Dress," featuring Rick Ross, is of a different sort; a throwback soul production provided by the Smokey Robinson-sampling Bink, it's as gorgeous as any of West's own early work, yet it's marred by an aimless instrumental stretch, roughly 90 seconds in length, that involves some incongruent electric guitar flame-out. Even less explicable is the last third of the nine-minute "Runaway," when West blows into a device and comes out sounding something like a muffled, bristly version of Robert Fripp's guitar. The only thing that remains unchanged is West's lyrical accuracy; for every rhyme that stuns, there's one deserving of mockery from any given contestant off the The White Rapper Show. As the ego and ambition swells, so does the appeal, the repulsiveness, and -- most importantly -- the ingenuity. Whether loved or loathed, fully enjoyed or merely admired, this album should be regarded as a deeply fascinating accomplishment.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/22/2010
Label: Def Jam
UPC: 0602527474465
catalogNumber: 001469502
Rank: 17202

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kanye West   Primary Artist
Chris Rock   Vocals
Elton John   Piano,Vocals
Alvin Fields   Vocals,Chant
Mike Dean   Bass,Guitar,Piano,Keyboards,Soloist
Charlie Wilson   Vocals
Ken Lewis   Organ,Bass,Guitar,Vocals,Brass,Chant,Woodwind
Amber Rose   Vocals
Philip Judge   Trombone
Alicia Keys   Vocals
Dwele   Vocals
Uri Djemal   Hand Clapping
Ryan Leslie   Vocals
Fergie   Vocals
Simon Finch   Trumpet
Mike Lovatt   Trumpet
Brent Kolatalo   Keyboards
John Legend   Vocals
Tom Rumsby   French Horn
Jenny Sacha   Violin
Jeff Bhasker   Piano,Keyboards
Rihanna   Vocals
The-Dream   Vocals
Richard Ashton   French Horn
Chris Soper   Hand Clapping
Andrew Gathercole   Trumpet
Rachel Robson   Viola
Drake   Vocals
Justin Vernon   Vocals,Background Vocals
Tim Anderson   French Horn
Rosie Danvers   Cello,Conductor
Teyana Taylor   Vocals
Nicki Minaj   Background Vocals
Kid Cudi   Vocals
Elly Jackson   Vocals
Ian Allen   Hand Clapping
Mark Frost   Trombone
Tony Williams   Vocals,Background Vocals
Kotono Sato   Violin
Kay Fox   Vocals
Danny Flam   Brass,Woodwind
Chris "Hitchcock" Chorney   Cello
Chloe Vincent   Flute
Wilson Christopher   Hand Clapping
Tony Gorruso   Brass
Salma Kenas   Vocals

Technical Credits

Gene Clark   Composer
Ozzy Osbourne   Composer
S1   Producer
Geezer Butler   Composer
Mike Dean   Producer,Engineer,Cello Arrangement,Additional Production
Robert Fripp   Composer
Michael Giles   Composer
Tony Iommi   Composer
Roger McGuinn   Composer
RZA   Producer
L.A. Reid   Executive Producer
Gil Scott-Heron   Composer
Peter Sinfield   Composer
Ken Lewis   Engineer,Horn Arrangements,drum programming
Robert Diggs   Composer
Andrew Dawson   Engineer,Additional Production
Doug Joswick   Package Production
Tracey Waples   Marketing
Shawn Carter   Executive Producer
Kanye West   Composer,Producer,Executive Producer,Art Direction
Anthony Kilhoffer   Engineer,drum programming
Mike Caren   Composer,Producer
Che Smith   Composer
Chris Atlas   Marketing
Peter Bischoff   Engineer
Kyambo "Hip Hop" Joshua   Executive Producer
Boris Bergman   Composer
Emile   Producer
John Stephens   Composer
Andwele Gardner   Composer
Eric Weissman   Sample Clearance
Plain Pat   Additional Production
Ken Lewis   Composer
Brent Kolatalo   Engineer,drum programming
François Bernheim   Composer
Jeff Bhasker   Composer,Producer,Cello Arrangement,Additional Production
Rosie Danvers   Orchestration
Marcos Tovar   Vocal Engineer
Noah Goldstein   Engineer
Ryan Gilligan   Engineer
Emile Haynie   Composer
George Condo   Artwork,Paintings
Jean-Pierre Lang   Composer
DJ Frank E   Producer
William Roberts   Composer
Phil Joly   Engineer
Onika Maraj   Composer
Justin Franks   Composer
Gee Roberson   Executive Producer
Tommy D.   Producer
Branch   Marketing
Christian Mochizuki   Engineer
Khloe Mitchell   Composer,Poetry
Chris "Hitchcock" Chorney   Cello Arrangement
Virgil Abloh   Art Direction
No Id   Producer

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