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My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

by Kanye West

Released November 22, 2010 via Def Jam Recordings / Roc-A-Fella Records

Reviewed November 27, 2020

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Devil In A New Dress (76%), Runaway (68%), Power (45%)

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy represents a compositional renaissance for its genre. Hip-Hop had slowly expanded from its familiar and simple base towards a more musically inclined sound, but it was this album that officialized that arrival. Larger than life, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy entertains spectacles galore as Kanye wrestles with his evolving self-image. It exhausts star power at an alarming rate yet retains value via the self-awareness of its excessively narcissistic traits. Ten years later, it stands as a predictive monument to how the ensuing decade of hip-hop would transform itself. – Enth (9.5/10)

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye West's fifth studio album, became a pivotal release in his discography as an all-or-nothing type moment. The Mount Rushmore of hip-hop albums would happily have MBDTF in the mix for a spot, if not already have a spot reserved. Immense production, where everything adds to the overall material and nothing is out of place is what’s expected from Kanye at his most inspired. It's as full of a sonic experience you're ever going to find. MBDTF is well structured, well thought-out, stylistically grandiose and fruitful beyond belief. Everyone that creates music wishes to make something in or around the ballpark of this release, even if it's impossible. One of a kind artists don't come around often, if ever. But when they do, you'll feel it with your whole being. – Peter (9.5/10)

Created during a self-imposed exile, Kanye West’s fifth studio album is a triumphant return at what could have been the breaking point for many artists. After the incident at the 2009 VMAs, Kanye West’s public persona became increasingly negative with the media almost universally criticizing him. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy leans into this narrative with a keen sense of awareness, as Kanye embraces his narcissistic tendencies and channels them into a landmark hip-hop record. Intricate and over-the-top production put this in a class of its own as one of the most cleverly crafted records out there, while Kanye’s charisma oozes out of nearly every line. His arrogance is on full display, and while it isn’t without hindrance, he pulls the listener in and reminds them why he has a right to be as he adds another classic to his resume. – Dominick (8.8/10)

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was at one point my favorite album ever, so this review is out of love. This album was great to me then, and I imagine way better then, when it was still fresh out of the box, but it’s aged badly. It’s poorly mixed, there’s a constant stream of corny and questionable lines, and plenty of unnecessary features (who let Fergie on this album?). But most importantly, the songs drag on too long, likely a result of the maximalist aesthetic that Kanye was going for. Hooks repeat one time too many, verses go on too long, and a questionably long Chris Rock skit all build up and result in a bloated album. That being said, it deserves some props. The production is beautiful, and songs like “So Appalled,” “Hell of a Life,” and “Lost In The World” are fantastic, but they are forced to carry the rest of the album. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy could have been incredible, but it falls short because Kanye couldn’t trim the fat. – Alan (6.5/10)

Jacques: 10/10 | Daniel: 9.5/10 | Enth: 9.5/10 | Hadley: 9.5/10 | DeVán: 9/10

Peter: 9/10 | Dominick: 8.8/10 | Pax: 8.8/10 | Cam: 7.5/10

Victoria: 7.3/10 | Alan: 6.5/10


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