Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Roc-A-Fella Records

Kanye West was a very good sport this year, wasn't he? After his poignant, painful outburst at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, West accepted the wrath of the media and retreated to the studio, intent to make the most self-exploratory music of his life. Except he may not have learned anything after all. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is a portrait of a confused, alienated man clinging desperately to his wealth because he has exhausted every possible relationship. Tracks such as "So Appalled," where West celebrates a life of champagne-sipping excess, are triumphant only in theory; he sounds defensive and entitled throughout, conveying the conceited angst of a young professional. Thankfully, West is as gifted as he is self-absorbed. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy blends rap, rhythmic electro, neo-psychedelia and glam-pop (not to mention a list of cameos ranging from Rick Ross to Elton John) with a style disarming enough to forgive his moral limitations. (4 stars out of 5)