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Excuse me I’ll be back: Watch the Throne review in full

August 10, 2011

So, Watch the Throne was released on iTunes yesterday. I of course jumped on a torrent site and tried to find copies, but got nothing. (Don’t judge, unless you want to help pay for my grad school, stfu, I’m broke and listen to waaaay too much music to buy every album.) Finally, today people started uploading…so I dl’ed WtT, put on my super bass noise cancellation Denons, and had myself a solo listening party. Below is my personal review but I’m a biased bitch…so go form your opinion by either downloading Watch the Throne on itunes, torrent it, OR stream the entire album via Some Kind of Awesome HERE.

My verdict, song by song:

No Church In The Wild ft. Frank Ocean – Genius choice as opening song. I’m biased because I love Frank Ocean but he definitely delivers with this song and, gladly, this was a more subtly “Kanye” type song. The bass line was viral and attacked my motor control making me nod throughout the whole song (almost reminded me, rhythmically, of an awesome mix between “Amazing” and “Flashing Lights”).

Lift Off ft. (blehhhh) Beyonce – From the first 5 seconds I had negative expectations and I’m not a big fan of Beyonce these days (big understatement). I honestly think this was Jay-Z pulling the husband card. BUT I will admit I was diggin’ Kanye’s lyrics, the brassy-synth, and bass line (not so much the electro-drums part). A little latter part of 808’s, in my opinion. This is one of those songs that I will probably be skipping on future album listens.

Niggas In Paris – I anticipate this being a lot of people’s anthems. The lyrics are, I’ll admit, kinda awesome and the music is addictive. Don’t quite dig the end transition but the beginning part of the song “ball[s] so hard motherf**kers wanna” repeat it.

Otis ft. Otis Redding – Yes, Jay-Z, I do agree it “sounds so soulful.” I loved this song from the day they released it. More than decent lines from Jay-Z and Kanye. And, of course, genius (despite the redundancy and short duration) funky sampling.I just wished they would have done a little more with this song and made it last longer.

Gotta Have It – I can’t quite put my finger on this one. I love the sampling and looped vocal effects. This track’s growing on me but there’s quite a few lyric lines that are pretty random and forced. I’ll come back to this one.

New Day – This is one of those Kanye self-reflective tracks. I think he pulled a lot of MBDTF sounds and a little from his earlier albums. Diggin’ the lyrics and Nina Simone sampling too. I think this song was oddly placed though considering the previous two songs brought up the album with a lot of funky feel (actually, I think the whole album, as far as track listing, isn’t very fluid).

That’s my bitch – Good jam track. Great beats but nothing in particular stuck out to me.

Welcome to the Jungle – Slightly obnoxious keyboard loop, cool sampling, decent lyrics. Maybe one of those “skipped” tracks on future listens too.

Who Gon Stop Me – Reminded me of being back in Houston for some reason, maybe it was just the chopped & slightly screwed vocal sampling. Another one of those personal anthem songs. Hard and drunken bass/synths. But I didn’t dig the transition after 2 minutes (was expecting Niki Minaj to pop up at that point) and I think Jay-Z’s lyrics were a little choppy after 3 minutes. Pressing skip halfway through.

Murder to Excellence – Lovin’ the music…again with the abrupt transitions, though.

Made in America ft. Frank Ocean – A very chill song. Liking the lyrics and beats. Nothing extravagant about this song, so far, to me, though.

Why I Love You ft. Mr. Hudson – I love the original song its sampling (the Cassius app is fun btw) and though this is a more Jay-Z kind of song, his lyrics go hard.

Illest Motherf**ker Alive – …Is a pretty ill song. Like the overall musical components, decent raps, and viral synth. I expect a very badass epic video for this song that will indeed be “in slow motion.”

H.A.M. – Well, I’m not going to even go there. I think this was the down point to the album and when this song was released it gave me the initial low expectations. So glad this is only on the Deluxe versions of the album. Shitty forced sounding lyrics, overambitious beats, and I just personally hate this song.

Primetime – LOVE the sampling. Love Kanye’s lyrics.

The Joy ft. Curtis Mayfield – I, of course, dig the Curtis Mayfield sampling and the lyrics. Baby making music that definitely “deserves Hennessy.” However, I think this song is one of the few that is also a bit out of place in the album song order.

In summary: This is a very mixed review. I’m genuinely and pleasantly surprised how this album turned out and my new favorite song is “No Church in the Wild (ft. Frank Ocean).” Still not a fan of Jay-Z lately but I love that this album was fortunately more Kanye influenced (with the exception of about 3 songs). There were a lot of really great ideas thrown around, but I think fluidity was lacking (despite the music-box-like transition sample used throughout the album). They should have pushed the release date back a little further. I’m going to be giving this multiple listens within the upcoming weeks. Though it’s not as musically layered as Mr. West’s MBDTF, it seems as if I will still hear new things with each listen, have songs grow on me or grow old, and change certain opinions. I really want to get a hold of the album inlay/covers and see all the production, sampling, and guest details.

Speaking of Frank Ocean, check out his new song “Best Seller” via Consequence of Sound. Shit’s legit. Can’t wait for HIS album.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Michael permalink
    August 10, 2011 8:54 am

    I’m definitely getting the album (legally) after reading this.

  2. August 27, 2011 6:49 am

    im still split on it. ill go listen to nas and damian for now.

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