“Watch the Throne” Review

by - August 10, 2011 - - 6 Comments »

I had high expectations. Unrealistically high expectations. My favorite artist ever was putting out a joint album with probably my second favorite artist ever. The result? Not perfect. Darn close.

Let’s start with the bad news. The sequencing could probably be better. “Lift Off” (featuring Beyonce) is the chief example of this. Not only does it disrupt the rhythm of the album (following the haunting “No Church in the Wild”), other than some interesting production, it kind of stinks.

Ok. The rest? Fairly immaculate. The third track “****** in Paris” might be my favorite song of all time, I’m not sure. The only word that can properly describe it is bounce. This begins the ‘ballin’ portion of the album. It’s also the part of the record that lets you know these guys had fun making it. They rhyme off each other to tremendous results on “Otis” and “Gotta Have It”. (For those who complain about Jay-Z and Kanye rapping about their opulence, what’s the problem? They are opulently wealthy. That was fun to type. Would you expect Steve Jobs to rap about the perils of technology? It’s also meant to be inspirational in a way. WTT actually had more depth than I expected. Their messages to their unborn sons on “New Day” and Jay’s introspective take on “Welcome to the Jungle” being a few examples.)

The Throne takes off from there with only a few momentary stumbles. It’s also the rare project that gets better as it goes along. “Who Gon Stop Me” makes me want to make sure no one is ever stopped again and the string of songs following it is about as good a stretch as you’ll ever hear. “Murder to Excellence” is conscious while exciting, virtually impossible. “Made in America” will require people to bring spare lighters to concerts and “Why I Love You” sees Jay-Z destroy his former proteges over the equivalent of a hip hop 80’s rock ballad. (For those who say Hov doesn’t spazz on this record, I totally disregard anything you say in the future.)

“Watch the Throne” reminds me a bit of Dr. Dre’s “Chronic 2001”. Perhaps a tad bloated (the bonus tracks here are quite good) but an album that seized everyone’s attention at the same time. After all, when Beyonce’s the worst thing about it, it can’t be too shabby.

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6 Responses to ““Watch the Throne” Review”

  1. rafdawg says:

    no love for “New Day”??? that track cuts deep, real meaningful esp if you grew up w/o a pops or are a father

  2. Jonesy says:

    Gotta disagree with you. I felt the album was missing a lot, really. I listened to the whole album, and wasn’t impressed. Especially with the much touted “Otis”. In all honesty, when it comes to collaborations this year, I think Eminem and Royce Da 5’9’s “Hell The Sequel” was a much better album.

  3. lundberg says:

    Raf–New Day is dope, good concept, autotune on sample is dope and Jay says “Me and the Rza connect” (nerd rap moment)

    Jonesy–I thought the beats and hooks on Bad Meets Evil were fairly terrible. I get they were trying to rappity rap but the songs here are just crafted on a different level to me

    Zlander–Thanks

  4. eric says:

    you cant honestly tell me your still bumping this album on the regular. face it, the album is extremely average

  5. lundberg says:

    I can tell you that

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