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Kanye West And Jay-Z's "Watch The Throne" Reviewed

This isn't as crappy as I  expected, not the disaster "H.A.M." and "Otis" promised us. Better than Jay-Z's BP3, not as good as Fantasy or, god knows, those killer Friday tracks last summer (though one is included), it is a mish mash of self-congratulations and political introspection with a cast of tens. Yep, no Drake, Kid Cudi, Common, Pusha T, Alicia, etc, etc, etc. Mr. Hudson makes an appearance. So does Beyonce. The rest are producers RZA, Swiss Beatz, the Neptunes and Q Tip.

And it misses too often; not disastrous misses, but misses nevertheless. Frank Ocean's "Made In America" is really pretty fucking stupid though it sounds good and stuff like "That's My Bitch" and"Murder To Excellence" about "black on black murder" has not much to add to the conversatio. Chuck D must be sneering his face off.

Still, other stuff is pretty awesome . The only thing missing from "No Church In The Wild" is… actually nothing. It is a pretty great song. "Joy" -the G.O.O.D." is a much better use of a soul great than "Otis". "Welcome To the Jungle" includes the only trib to Michael Jackson worth mentioning. And despite the ridiculous three minutes of silence that open "Illest Motherfucka" once it starts it has a terrific piano motif.

Indeed, it is hard to complain too much about the sound (and really, isn't that the most important thing?), "Lift Off" finds Beyonce still on a roll after 4. "N—- In Paris" has a real good Jay-Z rap . And for all the silliness of the dick swingin' look at my richest of both the rappers, the album is more than say, Best Of Both Worlds, it is as far as the rapping goes an entwining of rappers. Jay-Z playing McCartney to Kanye's Lennon.

So what we hoped for was 808s meets BP1 and what we got was the passing of time and the rising of ego like a flood of self-absorption, with the lyric spilling all over the audience in coolness and self-reverence.

It does work and it works because it is true. It is accurate.

And it sounds good.

If it was a little better, if the songs were a little better (nothing is a knockout punch) .. but it isn't.

Grade: B+

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