Thursday, October 17, 2013

Kanye West is a visionary and other critical musings

Take a good deep look at that chiseled face. I'll wait.

That, my friends, is what visionary looks like. Now I'll admit, I am not a huge rap/hip hop person. Sure I do love me some old school Snoop 'doggy doggy' Dogg Lion but I am not what one would call a fanatic. Occasionally I listen to some Jay-Z as well.  

But Kanye? Man he blows me away. His songs are symphonic. Perfect blend of melodies, rhythm, lyrics creates a pretty powerful experience. I understand he probably has a whole army of sound engineers, sound technicians, sound advisers, sound managers, sound quarterbacks whatever tweaking every little note but the finished product still carries his stamp of authority and approval.

Here's 'Homecoming', a great example of what I mean by symphonic:

The dude from 'Coldplay' is on the piano and the song begins with a beautiful piano riff that forms the backbone of the whole piece. It was everything, the clever puns, a catchy refrain, good meaningful lyrics. Pretty powerful song, really, that stays with you long enough and succeeds at evoking strong nostalgia and a tinge of wistfulness.

John Coltrane, the legendary Jazz innovator and renowned saxophonist, pioneered a technique called"> 'sheets of sound'
with his improvisation and creative arrangements. I think Kanye does something similar with his songs. He puts in a lot of thought, a lot of effort into creating the right blend of sound. Pick up his new album 'Yeezus' and listen to any of the songs on there ('Black skinhead' is my favorite) and you'll see what I mean.
Kanye may be a jackass, as President Obama so memorably called him in an off-the-record remark during a routine interview, but damn he is a visionary.

And since I promised other critical musings in my title to the post, you will be rewarded aptly:

  • WHY ARE PEOPLE SO DAMN IMPATIENT TO CROSS THE STREET?!! Everyday I see this. We'll all be waiting at the light, passively watching the flow of cars or twiddling our thumbs or daydreaming. People will start crossing as soon as the light turns yellow without waiting for the walk signal to come on. Really? It saves you like 10 seconds. Maybe. The worst is when they start walking and cars who have the right of the way due to the left turn arrow have to wait for them to cross. OBEY THE SIGNS PEOPLE. 

  • Truck commercials are now getting brawnier by the day. First of all there's way too many of them. I spend my entire Sunday propped up on my magnificent leather couch watching the NFL and I swear, every third commercial is about some stupid truck. And they all play the same. Slow motion of big wheels gritting through some swamp with water splashing all over. A panoramic shot of an extremely rocky road (seriously, who lives in places like these), dust billowing all around and boom! there's a Ford cutting through the dust cloud. It's always a gravelly voiced guy sounding all solemn and important as he rattles off the specs: "50 billion horsepower, 5000 gauge tires, til' the end of the universe warranty". Such transparent attempt at projecting hollow machoness. 
Alright I think I will leave you with all that. I guess it's time to go back breeding mice and running endless gels. 

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