On his new album, Kanye West says good-bye to the unbearable synth-beats and autotune-baublery, which were to be found on his previous record 808s & Heartbreaks. Instead, he’s drumming up a group of all-stars, consisting of sounding names such as Raekwon, Jay-Z, RZA, John Legend, Pusha-T and Rick Ross. Finally, there are some saucy drums again (So Appalled) and some sweet soul-samples (Devil In A Dress), even though they now have to subordinate to psychedelic Blues-Rock Ã la King Crimson and Black Sabbath (Hell Of A Life, Power). Very gloomy, very pressing, at times even very political. It seems, as if Kanye has learned from his spontaneous emotional outbursts in public, has realized his position as one of the biggest Pop-stars of our times and is now willing to musically pass criticism on social injustice. But let’s get back to the record. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is no masterpiece like College Dropout or Late Registration because Kanye still places his bets too much on big Pop-moments and also can’t evade the good ol’ R&B. But it’s a return to his old strengths and in that respect one or to steps forward. When he pulls out all the stops and shows his best skills (Devil In A Dress, So Appalled), it’s hard to pass him by.