The hip-hop landscape has shifted quite a bit since Kanye West wowed us with his Graduation album. He took a diversion, released 808s and Heartbreak, frightened timid little Taylor Swift at an awards ceremony and disappeared for a bit.
Now he’s back with Power, the first single from his forthcoming album Good Ass Job. The teaser video is below, and I just don’t know what to make of it. Help me out folks.
Visually, the video’s amazing – you’ve got West standing in the midst of this neoclassical scene that’s like those photos in Harry Potter. You know, the characters move around a bit, so it feels a little bit like magic.
I’m inclined to say though, that Kanye’s still off his game. It’s maybe been three or four years since he’s released a song that’s truly inspired me. And I’m confused about the source – was it his sudden, stellar fame or the loss of his mother that stole Kanye’s mojo? Because that’s what it feels like. One day Kanye was the best thing ever, bragging and making grandiose statements coupled with fantastic hip-hop hooks and the next, everything became underwhelming.
Power feels like Kanye on autopilot. The not-quite-epic chanting in the background seems to be carrying too much of the tune, while Kanye drawls in a ‘can’t be bothered’ way that fails to convince me he cares.
And while we’re on the subject – dear pop marketers, for it’s you who are at fault – can we stop releasing endless teasers for new songs? I get an announcement about the single, an announcement about the artwork, a teaser of the video, then the full video, then a making of the video, then a making of the making of video. It’s lame. The song should speak for itself. Just release it and stop trying to drag out the publicity.
So, over to you lot – is Kanye’s Power as compelling as some of the Singles Jukebox reviewers suggest, or is it West going through the motions?