My Beautiful Dark Twisted Kanye Blog

The Rolling Stones. Guns 'n' Roses. U2. Radiohead. These bands were known as the biggest recording artists in the world at one point in their careers. And they each went for the epic album. The magnum opus. The record that their label told them not to do, under any circumstances. Sometimes it worked. Other times it flopped. Remember Exile on Main Street? How about Chinese Democracy? It can be about timing, but mostly it's about quality. This year, it's Kanye West's shot with My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

Why is this album 'epic'? A few things to consider: the songs average six minutes apiece. Twenty-nine guest stars lend their talents over thirteen tracks. Justin Vernon, aka Bon Iver, indie darling, was personally flown to Oahu (where recording took place) to contribute backing vocals. There are six alternate covers. One former President mentioned an incident with West in his recent memoirs just before the album release. A 35-minute short film has already been released for the track, Runaway. Finally -- and most decisively -- listen to it for yourself. It's definitely out there.

Lyrically, the album touches on more topics than a UN summit, albeit one hosted by a sardonic megalomaniac. And I mean that in a good way. Sonically, West samples the likes of King Crimson, Black Sabbath, Aphex Twin, and Gil-Scott Heron, and his signature production lifts these songs into the stratosphere. You can almost see a manic Kanye running from recording booth to production studio to tweak the beats and layer the vocals. Epic? Oh, indeed.