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Jennifer Clay is a native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, she grew up thinking there had to be something out there bigger and more exciting than what she could find in her hometown, its claims to fame being the city’s annual balloon fiesta and the state tourist board’s assertion that NM receives 300 days of sunshine per year. After moving to Los Angeles for college in 2000, she found she was wrong, but per the maxim, at least she tried. Jen has completed internships with SPIN magazine and washingtonpost.com, and she has her bachelors' degrees in journalism and PR and her Master’s in English literature; she uses none of her degrees in her current position as an office manager at a financial-services firm but learns something new every day. She loves the diversity and uniqueness of LA, and in her spare time, loves to read, see movies and listen to music. She's also interested in the often-gray area where the humanities and technology intersect.

Review of Kanye West’s Yeezus

(Photo credit: "amazon.com")

(Photo credit: Amazon.com)

It has been painfully clear for a decade now that Kanye West‘s biggest fan is, in fact, Kanye West. His antics have led some cultural commentators to speculate he’s the world’s greatest entertainer. With his life under its new Kardashian-like spell and scrutiny, how does the music hold up?

It’s a question his latest LP “Yeezus” can answer.

For all the flack he gets, he’s good. Album opener “On Sight” takes the standard aughts’ hip-hop sound on a psychedelic electronica ride. It’s the step forward hip hop needs; West is the visionary ready to take it there. Building on 2008′s “Stronger,” West’s take on Daft Punk’s track of a similar name, the album was produced by the much-lauded French electronica duo, their touches – vocoder, synths, effects – evident throughout.

(Photo credit: davibe.com)

(Photo credit: davibe.com)

The album’s third track “I am a God” might stir a little controversy before a listen, but could it be as much a statement on the Christian message of one being made in God’s image? You can never tell with West, who is deeper than we give him credit for. Either way, he remains confident he’s got something special, being “the only rapper compared to Michael” (insert Jordan, Phelps or Jackson here). “Hold My Liquor,” a somber and muted take on drunken shenanigans and accidents, is one of the album’s most interesting tracks, if only for the music and lyrics’ disparate messages.

“Yeezus” is filled with paradoxes, charged topics (wholly NSFW), questions without answers. Tracks stream along, sometimes as if in their own worlds, many switching from angry to something less punchy as they go. West might be the star, but “Yeezus” is not an album of singles. It’s authentically West, but “West on Daft Punk,” and it’s another example of West’s refusal to compromise artistically.

The Verdict: The album is a winner, but here’s to hoping West someday learns to tone down the anger to explore what lies beneath it.

Label: Def Jam

Release Date: June 18

Featuring: Frank Ocean, Chief Keef

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