Kanye West, The Life Of Pablo (GOOD)
(See the track-by-track feature review of this record by Darcy MacDonald and Shash’U here.) This album coulda been called Check Your Attention Span. And that’s not a slight. The messy roll out, complete with an arena launch for an unfinished work, an SNL spaz out and a flopped streaming service release, all came off as bloated before we could even hear a note. Early reports had it that TLOP was a meandering disaster of good ideas without root. Then things calmed down and people were able to finally just listen to the results. Overnight critics called it a mess, a mixtape at best. But somewhere between a second and third listen, TLOP begins to gel. Then it sublimates into something else, entirely, an intangible representation of the age of anti-. In retrospect the bloated roll-out makes perfect sense. Kanye’s head always seems like it needs checking, but maybe we should back off him and take a look at ourselves. Pablo puts heads in check, separating the talkers from the listeners. Get him in your life and get right.
Trial Track: “FML” feat. the Weeknd