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808s & Heartbreak

808s & Heartbreak by Kanye West
Released: Nov 2008
Label: Roc-A-Fella Records
The idea of Kanye West singing (with help from Auto-Tune) for a whole album sounds like a disaster because, well, he can't sing. Surprisingly, it works thanks to the sincerity and vulnerability he displays while crooning about losing his mother and breaking up with his fiancee, the album's central topics. West's production here is much darker than in the past on tracks like "Welcome To Heartbreak" (featuring Kid Cudi) and the witty "Robocop." Although some will pray that his love hangover ends soon, most will appreciate a successful attempt by one of the best rappers alive to stretch hip-hop's creative boundaries.
Toshitaka Kondo