Kanye West’s ‘The Life of Pablo’ Is Not Quite ‘One of the Greatest Albums of All Time’: Review

Kanye West
Kanye West performs at the Hot 107.9 Birthday Bash Block Show in 2015. Prince Williams/WireImage

Us Weekly Entertainment Director Ian Drew reviewed two of this month’s biggest music releases: Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo and the 1975’s I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It. West’s highly anticipated album first debuted at the Yeezy Season 3 fashion show on February 11 at NYC’s Madison Square Garden. 

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After the band briefly terminated their social media last summer as a publicity stunt, the 1975 will release their album on February 26. 

Kanye West

The Life of Pablo

Star rating: 3.5/4

Kanye West

West says this is his “gospel album,” yet it falls just short of being a religious experience. Still, Yeezus deserves praise for much of it: “Famous,” featuring the incendiary quip “I feel like me and Taylor [Swift] might still have sex / I made that bitch famous,” is an intense scorcher built on reggae samples. 

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Also up there are “Waves,” in which Chris Brown croons over a trap beat and whooshing layers of synths, and the engrossing “No More Parties in L.A.” As a whole, however, the collection lacks cohesion, and several cuts don’t feel entirely fleshed out. It’s closer to a haphazardly assembled mixtape than one of the greatest albums of all time.

Matthew Healy
Matthew Healy of the 1975 performs on ‘SNL’ on February 6, 2016. Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

The 1975

I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It

Star rating: 2/4

The 1975

Shouldn’t they be called the 1985? The ’80s influences are cranked up on this Brit band’s second studio effort. “Love Me” echoes Peter Gabriel’s “Big Time,” while “A Change of Heart” is straight out of the John Hughes–movie school of airy synth ballads. Ultimately, though, it drifts away with experimental tracks as pretentious as that title.

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