Music Review: The Life Of Pablo is Kanye West’s beautiful, abrasive gospel album

A couple of weeks ago, Kanye West logged onto Twitter and promised the world that his next record—then titled Waves—wouldn’t just be the album of the year, but “the album of life.” The Life Of Pablo, West’s highly anticipated seventh studio album, falls short of that outsize pronouncement, but as a beautiful, messy, mixed-up collection of 18 songs, it’s a brilliant document. It feels far different from any of the tightly constructed, singular works of West’s past, and from a sonic standpoint, it sounds almost like a greatest-hits collection of nearly every sound and musical idea that he’s cultivated up to this moment. If you have a favorite Kanye West record, you can find it in here somewhere.

It’s hard to recall another album in the recent past that came together in such a public manner, and frankly, it was exhausting to …

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