Graduation (Explicit Version) CD (2007)

Artist: Kanye West

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Product Overview

Given the remarkable critical and commercial success of 2005's Late Registration, Kanye West's rich, rewarding Graduation. Ever savvy, West flouts those expectations by delivering a record that delivers curveballs while staying true to his sharply sculpted, commercially minded m.o. West's rapping, never his greatest strength, is still entertaining. He delivers witty, smart, sometimes absurd rhymes (he seems to take more lyrical chances on Graduation) that fit nicely with the overall feel of his tracks.

As usual, it's West's productions that stand out. While there are examples of his style-defining use of classic R&B samples and background choirs (as on the feel-good highlight "I Wonder"), West streamlines his sound to center on synth-driven lines, giving many of the tracks a retro-electro new wave feel. "Stronger," for example, another standout, is powered by a vocoder-drenched vocal sample, which implies that West might have been listening to more Kraftwerk than Motown to get hyped. The overall results make for a fun, inventive album that offers proof that West still has tricks up his sleeve.

Specifications

Label Universal Music Group
SKU 205135700
UPC 602517412200
UPC 14 00602517412200
Format CD
Release Date 9/11/2007
Links
Author Kanye West
Compilation Appearance Paper Trail [PA]
Associated Artist/Work Estelle
Associated Artist/Work J. Period
Associated Artist/Work Jay-Z
Associated Artist/Work Kid, DJ Whoo
Associated Artist/Work Sean, Big
Associated Artist/Work Williams, Pharrell
Technical Info
Engineer Bram Tobey; Jason Agel; Jared Robbins; Kengo Sakura; Andy Marcinkowski; Matty Green; Anthony Palazzole; Nate Hertweck; Dale Parsons
Producer Nottz; Tommy D; Toomp; Mike Dean; Kanye West; Jon Brion
CatalogID B-000954102
Lable Name Roc-A-Fella (USA)
Released 09/11/2007
Original Release 2007
Number of Discs 1
SPARE Code n/a
Length 52m : 50s
Mono/Stereo Stereo
Studio/Live Studio
Album Notes and Credits
Personnel: Connie Mitchell, Tanya Herron (vocals); Young Jeezy (rap vocals); Mike Dean (guitars); Luigi Mazzocchi, Gloria Justen, Eric Gorfain, Charles Parker , Igor Szwec, Daphne Chen, Emma Kummrow, Olga Konopelsky (violin); Alexandra Leem, Peter Nocella, Leah Katz, Alma Fernandez (viola); Richard Dodd, John Krovoza (cello); The Wired Strings (strings); Omar Edwards (Fender Rhodes piano); Lamar "Mars" Edwards, Andy Chatterly, Darryl Beaton, Jon Brion, Chris Rob (keyboards); Tim Resler, Vincent 'Biggs' James (bass guitar); Timbaland (programming); Jehireh Williams, Jalil Williams, John Legend, Ne-Yo (background vocals); Eric Hudson, Tony 'Penafire' Williams, Jay-Z, Jennie Lorenzo, Section Quartet.
Additional personnel: Chris Martin (vocals); DJ Premier (scratches); Dwele, Lil Wayne, Mos Def, T-Pain.
Given the remarkable critical and commercial success of 2005's LATE REGISTRATION, Kanye West's rich, rewarding sophomore release, expectations were high for 2007's GRADUATION. Ever savvy, West flouts those expectations by delivering a record that delivers curveballs while staying true to his sharply sculpted, commercially minded m.o. West's rapping, never his greatest strength, is still entertaining. He delivers witty, smart, sometimes absurd rhymes (he seems to take more lyrical chances on GRADUATION) that fit nicely with the overall feel of his tracks.
As usual, it's West's productions that stand out. While there are examples of his style-defining use of classic R&B samples and background choirs (as on the feel-good highlight "I Wonder"), West streamlines his sound to center on synth-driven lines, giving many of the tracks a retro-electro new wave feel. "Stronger," for example, another standout, is powered by a vocoder-drenched vocal sample courtesy of French dance superstars Daft Punk, which finds West again more comfortable in hip-hop's uncharted waters. The overall results make for a fun, inventive album that offers proof that West still has tricks up his sleeve.
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (p.90) - 4.5 stars out of 5 -- "This is an album that you first like ,then love....He's grown as a writer....The music needs his spazzed out, neurotic creativity more than ever."
Rolling Stone (p.108) - Included in Rolling Stone's "50 Top Albums of the Year 2007" -- "[T]he year's most high-impact work..."
Spin (p.114) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "West's third album is mesmerizing and alienating, like all the purest forms of pop culture. Its music is a rush of designer adrenaline..."
Q (p.95) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Musically, West is still capable of the inspirational. The cocktail piano of opening track 'I Wonder' soon gives way to the towering layers of '80s synthesizers that characterise the whole album."
Disc 1
1 Good Morning
2 Champion
3 Stronger
4 I Wonder
5 Good Life
6 Can't Tell Me Nothing
7 Barry Bonds
8 Drunk and Hot Girls
9 Flashing Lights
10 Everything I Am
11 Glory, The
12 Homecoming
13 Big Brother
Product Attributes
Artist West,Kanye
Label Universal Music Group
Music Format Compact Disc

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