Graduation doesn’t quite hit you the way you’d expect it, and you might even feel a little disappointed, as I previously wrote about my own reaction on this space the internet machine web world has allowed me disposal of. But, give it another listen, and you may change your mind. Album review follows…
As far as album depth goes, Graduation falls short. There is one extremely weak track in “Drunk and Hot Girls” and one questionable remix of some sorts in “Homecoming” (Kanye used the same lyrics on a track on one of the Freshman Adjustment discs). Additionally, while solid lyrically with a nice beat, “Big Brother” is somewhat cheesey and sounds like sucking up, dissin’, or making amends at different times in the song.
HOWEVER, this does not mean the album is a failure. Solid singles “Stronger” and “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” give the CD its pop status, while deeper cuts give it its true strength.
“Flashing Lights,” “Everything I Am,” and “Homecoming” demonstrate Kanye’s classic beats and the deeper side of his lyrics. “Everything I Am” highlights Kanye’s true value as a rapper when he says:
I know people wouldn’t usually rap this
but I got the facts to back this
just last year, Chicago had over 600 caskets
man, killin’s some wack shit
oh, I forgot, except for when niggas is rappin’
do you know what it feel like when people is passin’?
he got changed over his chains, a block off Ashlin
I need to talk to somebody, pastor
the church want tithe, so I can’t afford to pay
the slip on the door, ‘cause I can’t afford to stay
my 15 seconds up, but I got more to say
That’s enough Mr. West, please no more today.
His words speak for themselves in this case so I’ll jump to the grimiest beat on the album, “Barry Bonds.” Featuring Lil Wayne, the song stays lyrically soft, but the flow from both, as well as the hook, is top notch. Add in some unique smoothness from Mos Def and required bars from Jay-Z on the CD’s last track, “Good Night” (the book-end to “Good Morning”), and Graduation ends solidly, but slightly abruptly.
Overall the album grades out as an A-, mostly for having a weak track or two, and lacking as much depth as his first two releases, but that cannot mask the fact that Kanye dropped another classic CD with his latest production, and we all know 50 can attest to that.