Kanye West – Late Registration (Special Edition)
Posted by blink on Thu, 15 Jun 2006.
I chose this album to do a critical music review on, but surprisingly, in the end, I really ended up liking it! The album cleverly mixes hip-hop, R&B and rap styles with clever backing singing and features many supporting artists performing on it.
Late registration is Kanye West’s second album and was released on 30th August 2005, it went straight in at number one in the UK and sold over 850,000 copies in its first week of release and it earned Kanye a Grammy award for best rap album in 2006.
‘Diamonds from Sierra Leone’ (reached UK singles chart #8) was the first single released from the album in July ’05. The songs contains content from ‘Diamonds are Forever’ the James Bond theme performed by Shirley Bassey. On the album this is one of my favourite tracks. I love the way the Shirley Bassey snippet is played in the background during the chorus. The name of the track and its remix featuring Jay Z address the issue of the use conflict diamonds in Sierra Leone’s civil war.
The second single released was ‘Gold Digger’ featuring Jamie Foxx. (Reached UK singles chart #2 in July ‘05) Again I really like this song for its catchy lines and original chorus. The repeated lines by the supporting artist over the raps work really well and really add to the song. But again no real message in the song almost lets it down for me, although it is still easy listening.
The next song released from the album in December ‘05 was ‘Heard ‘Em Say’ (reached UK singles chart #22) and has to be my favourite song on the CD. It features Adam Levine from Maroon 5. This works really well and he almost acts as a backing singer humming over verses and singing the chorus with a soft, slow voice. This adds a lot to the song and definitely makes it appeal a lot more to me than just another rap song.
I think a main reason for this albums success is that it offers more to people other than rap or hip-hop listeners. If you’re not a fan of fast rapping some of the slower songs or supporting singing will appeal to you, and obviously rap and hip-hop fans should love this album. I love how it mixes styles and I think it was very clever to have so many songs featuring other artists and this is its main attraction for me.
I recommend any music fans to try this album, yes its hip-hop but you might just end up liking it! And it really is a must for fans of the genre!