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New Music: Kanye West's 'Yeezus', Primal Scream, And Mavis Staples

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Kanye West's minimalist album artwork for 'Yeezus' Kanye West's minimalist album artwork for 'Yeezus' (Courtesy of the artist)

Last month, Kanye West fans got a sneak peak at his new album, Yeezus, when he performed "Black Skinhead" on Saturday Night Live.

But this past weekend, Kanye-lovers stole a listen to the entire album when Yeezus leaked a few days before its official release date. The album is officially out today, and music writer, Lizzy Goodman, says that despite the singer's oft-maligned bravado, West has created another classic record.



“[Yeezus] samples every musical genre that we’re currently into," says Goodman. "But it’s still a traditional hip hop record in a lot of ways. Maybe he just needs to pump himself up and we need to tolerate that process in the meantime."

Lizzy Goodman, on Kanye West’s "Blood On The Leaves," which samples Nina Simone's recording of "Strange Fruit":

He's willing to go where you think no one should go musically. But it’s also reverential. He holds himself in such high regard [that] what he borrows is then also elevated. Everything is respectful by association with the greatness that is Kanye.


Goodman also gives her preliminary opinion on two other new releases from Scottish alternative rock band, Primal Scream, and gospel and soul legend, Mavis Staples.


On Primal Scream’s nine-minute epic, "2013":

Subtlety is not a primal scream specialty. This is among the first tracks that were released from this album, and that’s what I love about them. It's like, “Yes, this is our tenth record. Yes, we are us. And yes, we are imperious enough to release a ten minute epic among our first singles.” But the song is great.


On Mavis Staples’s “Can You Get To That,” a cover of a Funkadelic song that showcases the singer’s latest reinvention:

This record and the one before it — both of which she’s worked [on] with Jeff Tweedy from Wilco — has unlocked something new in her. It’s really interesting to see.



Lizzy Goodman

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