Kanye West wants to make noise, he will make noise. From the critically acclaimed debut album The College Dropout to his just recent attacks on George Bush, West has always been one to be outspoken. That’s probably how you can label Late Registration in one word, outspoken.
Keeping the guest list down from his first album, West used this guest list to compliment his sound for the album. Also helping out with the sophomore effort was John Brion who of Fiona Apple fame was brought in to bring in a cinematic sound to the album.
From the beginning, you knew the sound wouldn’t be the typical Kanye sound that everyone began to love. “Heard Em Say” with Adam Levine is a track at first sounds like it would be a perfect pop sound, but after a couple of listens, you begin to notice the different instruments infused and it becomes addicting. Although you think for one minute that the album might be en route to a laid back approach, the trumpets begin to sound off for the Just Blaze produced gem “Touch The Sky”. Speaking about his past moments with his ex girlfriends and the cheating going on, Kanye brought one hell of a track that Vanderslice pointed out to be “Encore” 2005. That is exactly how I felt with the first listen and the great appearance from slept on emcee Lupe Fiasco was the cherry on top to wonderfully produced track.
The production is what really makes the album such a great piece. The different direction the production took with the use of different instruments and not the typical drum patterns that Kanye is used to using. Yes the samples are still there, but they are used nicely especially heard on “On My Way Home”. The short but sweet track is one of the best on the albums, and it ends just as you are waiting for more.
Late Registration featured many standout tracks that you couldn’t really pick the album’s true highlight. You could choose any of them from “Diamonds From Sierra Leone”, to the remix. From the hidden track “Late” to the personal “Hey Mama”. From the 16 actual songs on the album, they all seem to have their place on the album, and featured some tracks that had some suprising guest spots. Paul Wall actually didn’t make me grind my teeth with effort in “Drive Slow”, and Cam’ron didn’t make me want to do a drive by on the Diplomats on “Gone”. They actually made the tracks for the better.
Late Registration is actually a better album compared to The College Dropout, there aren’t any filler tracks, and the skits are cut down to only lasting 30 seconds a piece. The production is hands down better than the first album, and Kanye did have more things to say instead of using three year old tracks.