Remember when Kanye West
threatened to make an album where he would bear his heartbroken soul, align with T-Pain
, sing on every song with the then inescapable Auto-Tune effect, and lean on the Roland TR-808 drum machine? It could have been a wreck, a case of an artist working through paralyzing heartache while loose in a toy store. Except West
wasn't joking. In various spots across 808s & Heartbreak
, the constant flutter of West
's processed voice is enlivened by the disarming manner in which despair and dejection are conveyed. Several tracks have almost as much in common with irrefutably bleak post-punk albums as contemporary rap and R&B. For anyone sifting through a broken relationship and self-letdown, this could all be therapeutic.