The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024
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West’s ‘Registration’ Wavers

“George Bush doesn’t care about black people!” was the final statement made by Kanye West when he appeared last Friday at a Hurricane Relief concert broadcasted live to the East Coast.

Mike Myers, who was paired with West, was noticeably surprised when West went off script during his condemnation of the Bush administration’s failure to deal with the situation in New Orleans. The timing of West’s remarks incidentally coincides with the release of his newest album, “Late Registration.”

West’s debut last year was met with much critical acclaim and commercial success, and as generally is the case with such a phenomenal debut, gave way to great anticipation.

The problem with this album is that it doesn’t live up to expectations. The album isn’t bad, but it isn’t necessarily great. The album just finds itself lost among so many other albums in the sea of mediocrity.

West’s lyrics are, for the most part, standard fare. He doesn’t explore any new issues, and moreover doesn’t bring anything new to light on any current issue. On the positive side, the words do flow fairly well with the beat, though they don’t accomplish much else.

The album begins with the vocal track “Wake Up Mr. West,” which leads directly into “Heard ‘Em Say,” a decent track that establishes a moderate pace for the rest of the album as the beat and piano play off one another. “Touch the Sky” follows with some soulful saxophone and some of the best lyrics on the album, which comment on West’s life and stardom. The album continues at a moderate pace but it never really takes off. “Drive Slow” is the next great track and begins with some good drumming and a nice vocal refrain. Electronic beats make their appearance here, as well as that great saxophone. It feels just as the album starts to lose all momentum, West places another great track down to keep your interest.

“Bring Me Down,” featuring Brandy, is such a track. Brandy’s vocals fit the track nicely, and the strings and piano fit along with the mood of the song well. The single “Diamonds from Sierra Leone,” featuring Jay-Z, is the best track on the album incorporating the old James Bond theme “diamonds are forever” to great effect. West’s vocals are perfect as he climbs higher and higher, and when Jay-Z takes over you can really feel the flow.

The end is where the album really shines. “Gone” and “Late” are both interesting and original. “Late” features nice backing vocals, and an old school, laid-back feel that wraps things up nicely.

Part of the problem is the skits, which are interspersed between the other tracks – they just don’t work. The album feels slower because of them, and while listening you can’t help but want to skip them and move on to the next track. The structure is actually fairly balanced, but it’s mostly filler.

Fortunately everything pulls together for a great end, but it doesn’t really make up for the boredom before it.

Overall, “Late Registration” is just more of the same. If you like Kanye West you’ll like this album, but it isn’t going to win over any new followers, especially with West’s recent outlandish remarks.

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