Graduation (Def Jam)
The battle between Kanye West and 50 Cent for the album chart top spot was a sensational mismatch. 50 is a man adrift, trundling out clichés, devoid of the soul that made his early work so annoyingly catchy. West on the other hand is in ascendance. His sights set on global domination. Fiddy is a spent force while West remains interminably hungry.
Graduation doesn’t equal its monumental predecessors, but shares a lack of boundaries, only does West have the scope and influence to throw whatever whimsy he desires – a collaboration with Chris Martin? Sure! Give Daft Punk a hip hop refit? Of course – and the surprising thing is that for the greater part, it works. Only one track that promised so much on paper, his collaboration with Mos Def, ‘Drunk and Hot Girls’, is woeful – a sloppy indulgence. The rest is pretty great: catchy, glossy, surprising, quotable, slick, emotive and crowd pleasing pop hip hop. The world is West’s for the taking.