Socialize

FacebookTwitterYoutube

Watch the Throne soars, with a few exceptions

220px-watch_the_throne

Kelsey Hess: Staff Writer

Mere hours after Kanye West and Jay-Z’s new collaborative album was finally released on August 8 at 12:01 AM, the album kicked off its fame as #1 on iTunes. West’s last album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, is still in the iTunes Top 100 and the new album’s success is certainly promising. As if it’s not assuring enough pairing up two of the greatest rappers of all time, the inspiring artists undoubtedly prove themselves worthy of the hype surrounding their newest release, Watch the Throne.

Watch the Throne is an instant rival to West and Z’s past albums. It has a very distinct sound, dissimilar to anything the artists have previously recorded. The album is different then your typical rap album, sounding more Gold Digger and less Blame Game. The album commences with “No Church in the Wild,” featuring Frank Ocean from OFWGKTA. The song opens the album with an old western, R&B, angry silence, someone-just-flashed-a-pistol-in-the–pub vibe.

The whole album is filled with instant hits, but some stars shine brighter than others. There are more uplifting songs on this album than either of the artists has ever included in a single compilation, and the positivity makes Watch the Throne an easier listening set. “Lift Off” (featuring Beyoncé), “Why I Love You” (featuring Mr. Hudson), and “That’s My B**ch” are more Jay-Z sounding than Kanye, with pop integration as the emphasis of the song. However, the straightforward and catchy choruses are uplifting enough to be an immediate favorite, especially when a listener is not in the mood for such an intense ballad. The incredibly memorable choruses and rapping make these three some of the best selections from the album.

As far as legitimate rapping goes, the artists’ haven’t re-vamped themselves completely. “N**as in Paris,” “Gotta Have It,” “Welcome to the Jungle,”and “Who Gon Stop Me” are sure to be instant classics, emphasizing the talented collaboration between Jay-Z and West.

The songs that aren’t upbeat pop or rap includeNo Church in the Wild” and Made in America” (featuring Frank Ocean), and Otis” (featuring Otis Redding). These are a kind of R&B song that make the duo shine. The electrifying combinations of classic soul with Z or West’s accompaniment are by far the best on the album. As for “Made in America,” Jay-Z and Kanye West discuss their different approaches to fame. And, knowing West and Z, their lifestyles are polar opposites, and West is seldom open to others controlling him, elucidated in “Who Gon Stop Me.”

As for the rest of the songs, ”New Day,” “Murder to Excellence,” “Illest Motherf**ker Alive,” “H.A.M,” “Primetime,” and “The Joy,” the best are definitely not saved for the last. Their sounds are much more My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy depressing, but the work of an amateur – at best. These hurt the album incredibly, and threaten to bring down the album completely. These failed songs are perhaps some of the most controversial of the album, and it’s a shame they don’t get the discussions they deserve. For example, “Murder to Excellence” compares reported deaths from the crime rates in Chicago to the death toll in Iraq – an intriguing concept, but the execution of the song does not deliver.

Kanye West and Jay-Z make an excellent team, there’s no doubt about it. Ten of sixteen of the tracks on Watch the Throne are excellent, with captivating concepts and catchy sounds.

10 Responses to Watch the Throne soars, with a few exceptions

  1. Joe

    August 14, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    If You’re going to publish an album review please don’t be ignorant.

    “As for the rest of the songs, ”New Day,” “Murder to Excellence,” “Illest Motherf**ker Alive,” “H.A.M,” “Primetime,” and “The Joy,” the best are definitely not saved for the last. Their sounds are much more My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy depressing, but the work of an amateur – at best. These hurt the album incredibly, and threaten to bring down the album completely. These failed songs are perhaps some of the most controversial of the album, and it’s a shame they don’t get the discussions they deserve. For example, “Murder to Excellence” compares reported deaths from the crime rates in Chicago to the death toll in Iraq – an intriguing concept, but the execution of the song does not deliver.”

    What in gods name are you talking about? Sure, “The Joy” is a dull song, and “Primetime” is a B-side oriented track but the latter definitely has some redeemable things in terms of lyrical and production value. “H.A.M” while somewhat of a disappointment when it came out because of the tremendous hype surrounded by a song for this duo, it is still in no way a bad song, and doesn’t “threaten” the album lol. Illest is fantastic ESPECIALLY on the production side, Mr. Hudson sounds fantastic, and it’s catchy, and New Day is the deepest song lyrically on the album, the fact that you called it weak speaks volumes about what you seek in a song. Catchy beat, and no lyrical effort is not what i’m looking for, maybe occasionally. New Day is reminiscent of old school Hip-Hop, please hire people who have a clue what they’re talking about.

  2. zac

    August 14, 2011 at 7:49 PM

    Yo the joy is an amazing song. its where rap needs to go. more artistic and less.club bullshit. jay’s verse is amazing

  3. Damion Harris

    August 14, 2011 at 8:03 PM

    This review is insane, the fact that this reviewer included Kanye West in the”greatest rappers of all time”category is shows his/her ineptitude when it comes to hip hop in general

  4. DLamp

    August 14, 2011 at 8:59 PM

    Man…I loved The Joy and New Day. New Day is contender for my favorite track on the album.

  5. dogboi-1

    August 14, 2011 at 9:12 PM

    This album is an instant clasdic. Both artists prove why they are the throne. I have it and honestly its difficult to say any of the tracks bring down the album, as they all bring something special. Pure hip hop. D. Harris just needs to stop listening to gucci to know what’s actually good.

  6. Kool Grae

    August 14, 2011 at 10:07 PM

    This critic is someone who should not review hip hop albums to say “No Church” is a R&B is nuts..”the joy” great “new day” sweet. “No Church” is my fav…”what’s a god to a non believer,who don’t believe in anything

  7. Aritra

    August 14, 2011 at 11:24 PM

    No matter how objective someone tries to be on a music review, it ultimately becomes based on their opinion of the album. This is Kelsey’s view of the album. It doesn’t have to satisfy everyone’s opinion. Some people idolize Kanye while some people hate his guts. Everyone has their own opinion.

    The fact that some of you are attacking Kelsey for writing a review and saying that she shouldn’t have written it in the first place is ridiculous. Obviously she took the time to listen to the whole album and gave her opinion on the tracks. If you have nothing better to do than to criticize someone’s review, your life must suck.

  8. 3entendre

    August 15, 2011 at 5:16 AM

    worst Watch the Throne review I’ve read so far!

    New Day is an incredible song.. the line “me and The RZA connect” alone is so deep for a hip hop head and if a critic of a hip hop album can’t even notice that then you need another job!

    Murder to Excellence is just is an excellent song! how many people have pulled off a 2 in 1 song like these guys just did? the switch in the beat and the celebration of black success after talking about the harsh realities that blacks in America go through is incredible.

    like Jay said in “Renegade”.. “do you fools listen to music or do you just skim through it?” I think the latter.

  9. Steve

    August 15, 2011 at 6:48 AM

    @Aritra: If Kelsey referred to ‘No Church in the Wild’ & ‘Otis’ as R&B songs after listening to the album I’d have to say that she is quite ignorant to what R&B should sound like!

    Also to say that ‘New Day’, ‘Murder to Excellence’, ‘Illest Motherf**ker Alive’, ‘Primetime’, and ‘The Joy’ “hurt the album” would be a poor review for anyone reviewing a Hip-Hop album. ‘H*A*M’ is the closest track to hurting the album, and that is really only from a lyrical point of view.

    I’m not knocking the effort Kelsey has put into this article; however I think that someone that actually knows what a Hip-Hop album is supposed to sound like should be reviewing this, not someone who thinks that radio-friendly songs make an album good.

  10. Shadio

    August 15, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    Huh?? This review is way off base. It’s clear that the writer doesn’t have the full range of perspective to fully grasp “the message” through the hype. Hater bandwagoneer garbage if you ask a real hip hop head.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

 
'

' . sprintf( __( 'You may not use these HTML tags and attributes: %s' ), ' ' . allowed_tags() . '' ) . '

'