Critics praise Kanye West's new album Yeezus

Kanye West at Splendour in the Grass: “This crowd is amazing; I’m speechless right now”.
Kanye West at Splendour in the Grass: “This crowd is amazing; I’m speechless right now”.

HE HARDLY needs the attention, but the new album by Kanye West is receiving overwhelming praise from critics after it leaked early online.

Yeezus, the sixth studio album from the controversial rapper, is the follow-up to 2010's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

Fans had a brief taste of the album with the track New Slaves projected onto buildings around the world, including two in Auckland, in a single release last month that doubled as an art installation.

Despite West's efforts to keep the album under wraps, Yeezus leaked early on Sunday, and as Gawker pointed out, Twitter erupted with applause for the line, "Hurry up with my damn croissants" from the song I Am A God.

With just 10 tracks and a running time of 40 minutes, Yeezus is the shortest album West has delivered.

Critics say it is his bleakest, but also his best, record yet.

"Yeezus is the darkest, most extreme music Kanye has ever cooked up, an extravagantly abrasive album full of grinding electro, pummelling minimalist hip-hop, drone-y wooz and industrial gear-grind," wrote Rolling Stone critic Jon Dolan, giving the album four-and-a-half stars out of five.

"Every mad genius has to make a record like this at least once in his career - at its nastiest, his makes Kid A or In Utero or Trans all look like Bruno Mars."

In his four-star review, Guardian reviewer Alexis Petridis said West "understands better than most of his peers that musical stars are meant to be extraordinary, provocative, divisive, controversial figures.

"Noisy, gripping, maddening, potent, audibly the product of, as he put it 'giving no f***s at all', Yeezus is the sound of a man just doing his job properly," he said.

Independent reviewer Hardeep Phull agreed, saying Yeezus was a "powerhouse of brutal noise and abrasiveness that often makes you recoil on first listen".

"If the provocation costs him some fans, then so be it because Kanye West has emphatically rejected the idea of making another slick hip-hop record precisely because it's what has become expected of him.

"It's not quite godlike, but Yeezus certainly feels like it was created by a higher power."

Not everyone liked it though, with AP reviewer Mesfin Fekadu calling it West's "darkest, eeriest and most erratic album of his six solo releases" and taking issue with some of the rapper's rhyme schemes.

"Lyrically ... West isn't always at his best. The album lacks deep storytelling from the 36-year-old, which he powerfully delivered on past albums.

"He sounds random and frustrated at times, and at others, he'll frustrate you."

Yeezus has an 84 per cent approval rating on review aggregate site Metacritic.

Yeezus isn't the only reason West has to celebrate this week: He reportedly welcomed his first child with Kim Kardashian into the world on Sunday in Los Angeles.

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