Quarantunes: The Life of Pablo
William Thornton gives us a taste of his Quarantunes – Kanye Style
Having been in lockdown for the past few weeks, (God-knows how much longer) music has been one of the only things keeping me sane in this damned house. One album in particular, touching me more than any other right now. Whilst N.W.A and Wu-Tang Clan have been playing almost constantly (and of course my usual indie favourites of The Smiths and The Stone Roses) it’s Kanye West’s 2016 album The Life of Pablo that’s really been hitting the spot for me at the moment.
incredible production and introspective themes
Pablo is an album that’s never really stuck with me in the past, and ever since I got into Kanye I always considered it one of his weaker albums; I’m now glad to announce, however, that I’ve finally realised how wrong I was all this time. What really makes the album for me is Kanye’s production, with tracks like ‘Waves’, ‘FML’, and ‘No More Parties in L.A.’ demonstrating the top-notch and full-on production that I adored so much in his previous two albums. He has moved on from the aggressive and abrasive stylings of Yeezus, instead opting for a more chill and relaxed sound. Tracks like the opening ‘Ultralight Beam’ and ‘Wolves’ are simply beautiful, and are easily some of Kanye’s most relaxing tracks in his entire discography.
And then there’s the lyrics and general themes of the album, both of which offer a more insightful and thought-provoking look into West’s mind. They focus on his then-newfound responsibilities of fatherhood, faith, and family, rather than the themes of addiction, fame, and guilt of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. And to top it all off there’s the infamous ‘Famous’, my favourite track of the album which is half typically-great Kanye beats and verses, and half euphoric and downright incredible sampling and production. All this makes for a song that I can listen to endlessly, enjoying it more and more every time.
I think it’s clear why The Life of Pablo makes for great listening during this lockdown, as its incredible production and introspective themes all work hand in hand to create a beautiful album. Even if it can be a bit untidy in some places, I can forgive Mr West for that thanks to the rest of this tremendous masterpiece.