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Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

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My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Kanye 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.
© Andy Kellman /TiVo

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My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Kanye West

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1
Dark Fantasy Album Version (Explicit)
00:04:40

Mike Dean, Producer, Mixer, Piano, Additional Producer, Recording Engineer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Teyana Taylor, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Malik Yusef, ComposerLyricist - Onika Maraj, ComposerLyricist - Mike Oldfield, ComposerLyricist - Kanye West, Producer, Co-Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Jeff Bhasker, Producer, Keyboards, Co-Producer, AssociatedPerformer - JOHN ANDERSON, ComposerLyricist - Andrew Dawson, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Noah Goldstein, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Anthony Kilhoffer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Robert Diggs, ComposerLyricist - No I.D., ComposerLyricist - Justin Vernon, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Nicki Minaj, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - RZA, Producer - No-ID, Producer, Co-Producer - Amber Rose, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Phil Joly, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Christian Mochizuki, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Gaylord Holomalia, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Chris "Hitchcock" Chorney, Cello, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2010 UMG Recordings, Inc.

2
Gorgeous Album Version (Explicit)
00:05:57

Roger McGuinn, ComposerLyricist - Corey Woods, ComposerLyricist - Mike Dean, Producer, Guitar, Co-Producer, Recording Engineer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Gene Clark, ComposerLyricist - Scott Mescudi, ComposerLyricist - Malik Yusef, ComposerLyricist - Kanye West, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Ken Lewis, Guitar, Organ, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Kid Cudi, FeaturedArtist - Tony Williams, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Andrew Dawson, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Noah Goldstein, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Anthony Kilhoffer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - No I.D., ComposerLyricist - Raekwon, FeaturedArtist - Pete Bischoff, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Brent Kolatalo, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - No-ID, Producer, Co-Producer - Phil Joly, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Christian Mochizuki, Recording Engineer, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Chris "Hitchcock" Chorney, Cello, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2010 UMG Recordings, Inc.

3
POWER Album Version (Explicit)
00:04:51

Peter Sinfield, ComposerLyricist - Mike Dean, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Additional Producer, Recording Engineer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist, Bass (Vocal) - Alvin Fields, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Robert Fripp, ComposerLyricist - Malik Yusef, ComposerLyricist - N. Perez, ComposerLyricist - MANNY MARROQUIN, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Kanye West, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - FRANCOIS BERNHEIM, ComposerLyricist - Jeff Bhasker, Producer, Keyboards, Additional Producer, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Greg Lake, ComposerLyricist - Andrew Dawson, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Anthony Kilhoffer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Michael Giles, ComposerLyricist - Larry Griffin Jr., ComposerLyricist - Dwele, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Kenneth Lewis, Engineer, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Jean Pierre Lang, ComposerLyricist - B. Bergman, ComposerLyricist - Brent Kolatalo, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ian Allen, Clapping, AssociatedPerformer - Christopher Soper, Clapping, AssociatedPerformer - S1, Producer - Uri Djemal, Clapping, AssociatedPerformer - Wilson Christopher, Clapping, AssociatedPerformer - Ian Richard McDonald, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2010 UMG Recordings, Inc.

4
All Of The Lights (Interlude) Album Version (Explicit)
00:01:02

Mike Dean, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Scott Mescudi, ComposerLyricist - Stacy Ferguson, ComposerLyricist - Malik Yusef, ComposerLyricist - Warren Trotter, ComposerLyricist - Kanye West, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Jeff Bhasker, ComposerLyricist - Noah Goldstein, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Phil Joly, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2010 UMG Recordings, Inc.

5
All Of The Lights Album Version (Explicit)
00:04:59

Alicia Keys, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Mike Dean, Keyboards, Recording Engineer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Alvin Fields, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Scott Mescudi, ComposerLyricist - Stacy Ferguson, ComposerLyricist - Malik Yusef, ComposerLyricist - Tim Anderson, French Horn, AssociatedPerformer - Warren Trotter, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Mark Frost, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Rihanna, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Fergie, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Drake, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Kanye West, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Simon Finch, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Ken Lewis, Additional Vocals, Horn Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Charlie Wilson, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Kid Cudi, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Jeff Bhasker, Producer, Keyboards, Co-Producer, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Rachel Robson, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Ryan Leslie, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - John Legend, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Tony Williams, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Jenny Sacha, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Kotono Sato, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Mike Lovatt, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Rosie Danvers, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Andrew Dawson, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Noah Goldstein, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Elly Jackson, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Anthony Kilhoffer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Marcos Tovar, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - The-Dream, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Pete Bischoff, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Ashton, French Horn, AssociatedPerformer - Chloe Vincent, Flute, AssociatedPerformer - Phil Joly, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Christian Mochizuki, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Chris "Hitchcock" Chorney, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Andy Gathercole, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Rumsby, French Horn, AssociatedPerformer - Philip Judge, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2010 UMG Recordings, Inc.

6
Monster Album Version (Explicit)
00:06:18

Shawn Carter, ComposerLyricist - Mike Dean, ComposerLyricist - W. Roberts, ComposerLyricist - Malik Yusef, ComposerLyricist - Onika Maraj, ComposerLyricist - Jay-Z, FeaturedArtist - Kanye West, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Jeff Bhasker, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Andrew Dawson, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Anthony Kilhoffer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rick Ross, FeaturedArtist - Bon Iver, FeaturedArtist - Justin Vernon, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Nicki Minaj, FeaturedArtist - Patrick Reynolds, ComposerLyricist - Ben Bronfman, ComposerLyricist - Daniel Lynas, ComposerLyricist - Harley Wertheimer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2010 UMG Recordings, Inc.

7
So Appalled Album Version (Explicit)
00:06:37

Shawn Carter, ComposerLyricist - Kasseem Dean, ComposerLyricist - Mike Dean, Producer, Mixer, String Arranger, Keyboards, Co-Producer, Recording Engineer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Terrence Thornton, ComposerLyricist - Manfred Mann, ComposerLyricist - Jay-Z, FeaturedArtist - Kanye West, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Swizz Beatz, FeaturedArtist - Jeff Bhasker, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Andrew Dawson, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Noah Goldstein, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Pusha T, FeaturedArtist - Anthony Kilhoffer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Robert Diggs, ComposerLyricist - No I.D., ComposerLyricist - Pete Bischoff, Recording Engineer, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Cydell Young, ComposerLyricist - RZA, FeaturedArtist - No-ID, Producer - Prynce Cy Hi, FeaturedArtist - Christian Mochizuki, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Gaylord Holomalia, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Chris "Hitchcock" Chorney, Cello, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2010 UMG Recordings, Inc.

8
Devil In A New Dress Album Version (Explicit)
00:05:51

Mike Dean, Producer, Mixer, Guitar, Piano, Additional Producer, Recording Engineer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist, Bass (Vocal) - R. Harrell, ComposerLyricist - W. Roberts, ComposerLyricist - Malik Yusef, ComposerLyricist - Bink, Producer - Carole King, ComposerLyricist - Gerry Goffin, ComposerLyricist - Kanye West, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Andrew Dawson, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Noah Goldstein, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Anthony Kilhoffer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rick Ross, FeaturedArtist - Pete Bischoff, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Christian Mochizuki, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Gaylord Holomalia, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2010 UMG Recordings, Inc.

9
Runaway Album Version (Explicit)
00:09:07

Mike Dean, Producer, Co-Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Terrence Thornton, ComposerLyricist - Pete Rock, ComposerLyricist - Emile Haynie, Producer, Co-Producer, ComposerLyricist - Malik Yusef, ComposerLyricist - Kanye West, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Jeff Bhasker, Producer, Co-Producer, ComposerLyricist - Tony Williams, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Andrew Dawson, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Noah Goldstein, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Roger Branch, ComposerLyricist - Pusha T, FeaturedArtist - Anthony Kilhoffer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Cary Clark, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Christopher Chorney, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Christian Mochizuci, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2010 UMG Recordings, Inc.

10
Hell Of A Life Album Version (Explicit)
00:05:27

Tony Iommi, ComposerLyricist - Tony Joe White, ComposerLyricist - John Osbourne, ComposerLyricist - William Ward, ComposerLyricist - Mike Dean, Producer, Mixer, Keyboards, Co-Producer, Recording Engineer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Terence Butler, ComposerLyricist - Mike Caren, Producer, Co-Producer, ComposerLyricist - Ernest Wilson, ComposerLyricist - Teyana Taylor, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Kanye West, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Sylvester Stewart, ComposerLyricist - Andrew Dawson, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Noah Goldstein, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Anthony Kilhoffer, Mixer, Drum Programmer, Recording Engineer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - The-Dream, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Pete Bischoff, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - No-ID, Producer, Co-Producer - Christian Mochizuki, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Gaylord Holomalia, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2010 UMG Recordings, Inc.

11
Blame Game Album Version (Explicit)
00:07:49

Mike Dean, Producer, Mixer, Piano, Additional Producer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist, Bass (Vocal) - J. Franks, ComposerLyricist - Kanye West, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - John Stephens, ComposerLyricist - Ryan Gilligan, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Legend, FeaturedArtist - Andrew Dawson, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Noah Goldstein, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Anthony Kilhoffer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Chris Rock, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - DJ Frank E, Producer - Richard James, ComposerLyricist - Phil Joly, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Khloe Mitchell, ComposerLyricist - Chris "Hitchcock" Chorney, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Salma Kenas, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2010 UMG Recordings, Inc.

12
Lost In The World (feat. Justin Vernon) Album Version (Explicit)
00:04:16

Alicia Keys, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Gil Scott-Heron, ComposerLyricist - Mike Dean, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alvin Fields, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - JAMES BROWN, ComposerLyricist - Kanye West, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Kaye Fox, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Ken Lewis, Vocals, Drum Programmer, AssociatedPerformer - Charlie Wilson, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Jeff Bhasker, Producer, Keyboards, Co-Producer, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tony Williams, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Andrew Dawson, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Noah Goldstein, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Elly Jackson, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Anthony Kilhoffer, Mixer, Drum Programmer, Recording Engineer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Edwin J. Bocage, ComposerLyricist - Manu Dibango, ComposerLyricist - Bon Iver, FeaturedArtist - Justin Vernon, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Pete Bischoff, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Scramuzza, ComposerLyricist - Alex Graupera, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Christian Mochizuki, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2010 UMG Recordings, Inc.

13
Who Will Survive In America Album Version (Explicit)
00:01:38

Alicia Keys, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Gil Scott-Heron, ComposerLyricist - Mike Dean, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alvin Fields, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Kanye West, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Kaye Fox, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Ken Lewis, Vocals, Drum Programmer, AssociatedPerformer - Charlie Wilson, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Jeff Bhasker, Producer, Keyboards, Co-Producer, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tony Williams, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Andrew Dawson, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Noah Goldstein, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Elly Jackson, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Anthony Kilhoffer, Mixer, Drum Programmer, Recording Engineer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Edwin J. Bocage, ComposerLyricist - Justin Vernon, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Pete Bischoff, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Scramuzza, ComposerLyricist - Alex Graupera, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Christian Mochizuki, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2010 UMG Recordings, Inc.

Album Description

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.
© Andy Kellman /TiVo

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