Graduation Enhanced, Explicit Lyrics
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Graduation is the 3rd installment in the Kanye West series of ground breaking albums, targeting every school kid, from those that have dropped out (Debut Album, College Dropout), to those late registrants (sophmore album Late Registration), to those that have gone on and completed school (current album Graduation). Though technically this earmarks a junior year, West's approach to crafting this album was very much senior. Kanye teams up with veterans Daft Punk and Edwin Birdsong on Stronger- Graduation's forthcoming single; as well as enlisting a little help from current chart topper T-Pain on Good Life. Chris Martin of Coldplay appears on a track called HomeComing as well. Kanye has continued to prove his understanding and appreciation for a wide array of music and musical influences. What makes GRADUATION so special? Like most Kanye titles, his fearlessness and blindness to inhibiting boundaries, coupled with his fan driven core competence is evidence that he knows exactly what people yearn for...great music, perspective, and a voice to be heard.
Kanye West's third in a whimsical trilogy of "scholarly" albums, Graduation wears its predecessors' badges of success on its sleeve. Matriculation has its rewards, apparently, and it's time to take stock. Lyrically, there's plenty of self-congratulation to attend to, but the real fun comes in the collabs, and West chooses co-conspirators like a kid in a candy store--John Legend ("Good Life"), Coldplay's Chris Martin ("Homecoming"), Mos Def and the Section Quartet (both adorable choices for the foreboding "Drunk and Hot Girls")--and plucks samples with A-list braggadocio: Elton John, Steely Dan, Daft Punk, Can, Michael Jackson, Public Enemy. Nothing here quite captures the superlative symbiosis of West's past best beats (think "Gold Digger"), but the central motif remains: No one ever accused Kanye West of being too cool for school, and Graduation still knows how to party. True, Kanye West will happily whine about the pitfalls at the top of the heap, clear his throat and try to rhyme it with Barry Bonds, or diss fish in a barrel all day, but that can't stop a shameless good time, and Graduation maintains an unshakeable knack for producing it. --Jason Kirk
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Top Customer Reviews
On this excellent record, he duets with Coldplay's Chris Martin on "Homecoming" and teams up with the young Grammy-winning blues guitarist John Mayer on "Bittersweet Poetry".
What makes these collaborations so good is that Kanye West is obviously not looking for crossover acceptance, rather he is demonstrating how he can excel in such distinguished company.
There's deft sampling of anyone who serves the cause, from Steely Dan and Elton John to reggae lion U-Roy and Daft Punk, and a new found maturity that ensures the swaggering but warm "Graduation": is that rarest of things: a keyboards-led hip hop album. It's tip top.
It's mature, adventurous, addictive.
With "Graduation", Kanye West proves once again that he is way ahead of the hip-hop pack.
Album's highlights: "Drunk and Hot Girls", "Can't Tell Me Nothing", "I Wonder" and "Stronger".
I'm loving it!
I didn't purchase this CD because of the "contest" between Kanye and 50 cent, however I would not buy the album from 50 cent because I'm tired of his arrogance. I also got tired of hearing him rap about his bank account.
I'll give it a safe 3 stars, for the price its still good for 4 good songs :P [Not safe is calling it one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time like some people seem to be doing :@ Give 2001 by Dre a spin then try and tell me this is better ;)]
BTW they are Stronger, The Good Life, I Wonder, and Good Morning.
On his third album, West wants that acceptance on a big piece of paper, rolled up in a ribbon and presented to him in front of the applauding world. To make sure that everyone had the date in their diary, he pulled the release forward to clash with his nemesis, 50 Cent. But why bother? If anyone was going to get the prize for coming top of the class right now, it would be West.
"Graduation" sums up the qualities that made West a star: smart sampling, funny pitched-up vocals, a new found maturity, sagacious rapping and a finely attuned ear for infectious beats and rhythms.
There are also a couple of new ingredients: steely, electro synths from Daft Punk on "Stronger" and Caribbean lilts on "Good Life".
He's even got rappers' favourite indie boy Chris Martin doing his best Gilbert O'Sullivan impression on "Homecoming".
Despite all this, something about "Graduation" feels a bit cold.
The goofy glamour of "Gold Digger" and "Touch the Sky" have been edged out by over-earnest, gratingly repetitive self-promotion and an underlying sense of isolation and paranoia. And for all his right-on credentials, "Drunk & Hot Girls" veers close to hip-hop's tired old misogyny.
Kanye West is a 'conscious' rapper whose album samples Steely Dan and kraut rock beards Can; who muses on the stress of success; and who likes speeded up chipmunk vocals.
"Graduation" will leave some fans cold (it's a pop album that takes hip hop further into mainstream dance culture).Read more ›