Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Album Review: Jay Z & Kanye West - Watch The Throne
For something that had all the makings of a possible explosive and creative collaboration I feel like the hype on this album was next to nothing. I mean the only mention of this album being reasonably close to release was the article on them signing an exclusive deal with Best Buy and Itunes, which not only is embarrassing but showed this as almost exclusively a cash cow for them. So as the release date hit I kind of forgot this had been released, I grabbed it late in the day and gave it a first listen and the album just left a meh feeling.
My biggest problem with this album is that the album is sampled to fuck, I mean samples are cool but when they are drowning out Kanye and Jay (it might actually be a good thing) then it seems a little too over the top and really annoying. With Kanye involved it was always going to be way over the top as this is what hes become a larger than life figure...in his own mind especially. Tracks such as Otis which samples Otis Reading is a prime example of the sample being just too much, I mean parts of Jay's verses are underneath the sample vocals.
Its like they're trying waaay too hard to show how great they are in this, there's verses in this thing that would be a lot better if you could hear them properly. A couple of shining tracks on the album were both involving Odd Future member Frank Ocean tracks No Church In The Wild (the album opener) and Made In America. To me what I liked was they toned down sampling and allowed all three involved to actually do their thing and Frank Ocean has taken another big step in becoming a big name after this.
Now while I have been pretty critical in this so far, I still feel like this is at the very least a decent album, Kanye and Jay Z still show moments of class in tracks but unfortunately they rarely put it together for a whole song. Obviously the two Frank Ocean songs are two of them, to a lesser extent Welcome To The Jungle (seriously that sample tries to ruin it) and Murder to Excellence (another sampled to fuck).
Overall this is a dissapointing release by these two, even if you had low expectations on this (me) then you'll still find it a shame that they just ruined it with something like production mainly, something that Kanye is supposed to be good at. I quite like some of the verses and if this were to tone down the samples then I think I'd like it a lot more.
Overall Rating: 4/10