I am pretty sure everyone will be jocking the hell out of this CD. It'll make everyone's top ten list and win many awards. Don't get me wrong; This album may well be another classic. However, there is just something that is lacking.
The most egotistical man in Hip Hop can give himself a pat on the back. He managed to break the curse of the sophomore slump and deliver a greatly produced album. Relying on Jon Brion (who has worked with Fiona Apple and Rufus Wainwright) The Louis Vuitton Don delivered a new sound. Even though, this really isn't hardcore hip hop, Kanye chose the road less traveled musically which was already paved by Outkast and Cee-Lo.
I give Kanye his props for addressing many issues going on in the world. From jewellery trade on the lead single "Diamonds", whores on "Gold Digger", bad health care and his ailing grandmother on "Roses", to drug use among minorities on "Crack Music." He used his wit and creativity to give a story to each song. Which is a whole lot better than the typical bling and bitches topic that is oh so played.
This album may be bordering on pop territory (check out "Heard 'Em Say" featuring Maroon 5's Adam Levine) but Jon Brion's polish gave it that chill-portishead-esque (circa "Dummy") type vibe to it. My only complaint is Kanye's emceeing skills. Even though he is not the worst, he is not the best either. I was never a fan of the high pitched voice and corny deliveries he sometimes makes. Even if it wasn't for the production, some of the album's songs would sound inferior because of his delivery.
With its impressive supporting cast, (Brandy, Paul Wall, Adam Levine of Maroon 5, Common, Nas, The Game and Jamie Foxx) Late Registration is a refreshing change from all the crunk, dirty south music that has been dominating the airwaves and MTV. One can tell that Kanye West grew on this album. He managed to take serious topics to enlighten and entertain us. Very G.O.O.D music, indeed.