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    Head to Head: The Life of Pablo

    Official album cover for The Life of Pablo, Kanye Wests seventh studio album. The album was released on Tidal on Saturday, Feb. 13.
    GOOD Music
    Official album cover for The Life of Pablo, Kanye West’s seventh studio album. The album was released on Tidal on Saturday, Feb. 13.

    Daily Wildcat arts and life writers Mariel Bustamante and Erica Szpylczyn go head to head to hash out what they personally thought about Kanye West’s new album, The Life of Pablo.

    After three years of random singles, a critically acclaimed fashion line and to-die-for sneakers, West released the highly anticipated album The Life of Pablo. This album is full of amazing collaborations with the likes of Chance the Rapper, Rihanna, Kid Cudi and Young Thug, as well as great producers like Metro Boomin and Swizz Beatz.

    “Ultralight Beam”

    ES: As this is the opening to the album, it is super long. Although it is five minutes and 20 seconds long, the young child’s voice and older lady’s voice in the background create a very welcoming tone. All of the voices in the background together create an intense opening sound which is typical West, so how can anyone expect anything less? It was a very dramatic opening, but in total, the length of the song overtook the decadence of the song.

    MB: “Ultralight Beam” is an example of West’s love for God. Chance the Rapper, Kelly Price and The-Dream each bring their vocals to another level and incorporate strong and meaningful lyrics that will make your heart sink. Like The College Dropout, the church choir has been incorporated and has succeeded. This beautiful introduction is an “A+” for The life of Pablo.

    “Father Stretch My Hands, Part 1”

    ES: This one has an entirely different feeling from the opening song. This song is more typically West, with obvious autotuning and techno beats in the background. The song was rather short overall in comparison, since it was almost half of the length of the first song, but also felt a little too short. I like the song for the fact that it seems to go one way in the beginning by being Bee Gees or 1960s-inspired, but then turns to a more modern beat after 30 seconds. Overall, I really enjoyed the beats in the background and the modern spin that the song took after the opening sounds and the heartfelt opening up of West through his lyrics. The artist even tweeted on Thursday, “Father Stretch My Hands. … I cried writing this. I love my Dad.”

    MB: “Father Stretch My Hands” starts with the church choir once again and West fools us into thinking this will be a transition to another gospel song. We were wrong. This song is heartbreaking, but makes you want to bump to it at a party at the same time; let’s not forget Kid Cudi’s voice in the background, which adds an extra head nod to our enjoyment. This piece along with part two are my favorite songs off of T.L.O.P.

    “Father Stretch My Hands, Part 2”

    ES: The introduction to the song was interesting. It made the listener think it was going in one direction, but then went a completely different way. The song was more hip-hop or rap since it was a collaboration with Desiigner, as opposed to some of the pop themes that can sometimes be seen in some of West’s songs and albums. The robotic voices mixed into the hip-hop at the end of the track made the song more interesting and added diversity. This song was shorter and I enjoyed it, but not as much as part one.

    MB: The head nods continue and accelerate even more. Part two includes a long verse that talks about West’s father, which is rare since West makes it clear in past albums that his father is not in the picture and that he is a true mother’s boy. It is interesting to hear West’s soft side about his father because it was never there until T.L.O.P. Desiigner adds extra spunk to the song with his fun and light verse. Amazing production.

    “Famous”

    ES: I loved the collaboration with Rihanna. She is a personal favorite of mine. Not only did West collaborate with her, Swizz Beats can also be heard in the verses. The publicity for Taylor Swift, with her being mentioned in this song, definitely brought light to this song and all of its glory. I personally predict that it will become a top hit on the radio due to the song’s controversial nature, famous collaborations and its fun beat. This was my favorite song off the album since it brought back the controversial Swift incident, but with jest.

    “Facts (Charlie Heat Version)”

    MB: This song was the first to be released on West’s SoundCloud during his preparation for his seventh studio album. At first, it was not a favorite at all. It had a weird beat and West sounded whiney and annoying. But as the build up to the new album continued, West said he changed the song’s beat to be better than ever and it was. The original track was produced by Metro Boomin and Southside, but this new mix by Charlie Heat did justice to T.L.O.P and was a perfect closing to the album.

    “Fade”

    ES: This was definitely my second favorite song on the album because of the funky beats and guest artists who contributed to it. Post Malone and Ty Dolla $ign contributed their own artistic values that concluded the album nicely and brought it together. This song didn’t have the hip-hop feeling behind it, but with the Post Malone contribution, it felt more like rock or alternative. This was my second favorite song on the album for this reason.

    “Waves”

    MB: Sound familiar? This song was the reason behind the original album title Waves. When West changed the album title, this song was scrapped. Remember when this album was two days overdue? That’s because Chance the Rapper fought for this song to be on the final cut of T.L.O.P. He definitely was right. With a pop feel, Chris Brown takes us back to middle school with his impeccable vocals and West amazes with his easy and light verses. I predict this song to be a single and a radio hit. Thanks, Chance.

    ES: Overall, I really enjoyed listening to this album. The different styles that can be seen throughout keep the listener engaged and wanting to listen to all the songs. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for music to play on the auxiliary chord or for going to the gym, since the songs are so diverse. There is a song on the album for every scenario.

    MB: All in all, this album was pure genius and lived up to everything that West tweeted about during the three-week span. With sounds that sounded like The College Dropout, Graduation and 808s & Heartbreak, this album was a definite throwback. West is rapping again, his heart is in his music and it is working out for him. He is a lyrical genius and a smart producer. He might be a diva, but there is a reason for it and The Life of Pablo is the perfect example of why.


    Follow Mariel Bustamante and Erica Szpylczyn on Twitter.


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