The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

“808s & Heartbreak” Part II: Kanye West brings back album’s vibes with two new songs

Have you heard Kanye West’s two new songs this past week? This ‘lyrical genius’ released a remix to The Weeknd’s song, “Tell Your Friends,” from his new album “Beauty Behind the Madness,” according to the RTT newswire.

West, 38, actually produced the track “Tell Your Friends,” which explains the ‘throwback’ feel with the song’s piano hook. Along with Abel Tesfaye’s, known to the world as The Weeknd, smooth voice, there was no doubt this song would be a hit. West’s follow-up remix, “When I See It,” is just as impactful.

Like his albums, “Yeezus” and “808s & Heartbreak,” West plays around with auto-tune. The quick two-minute song still uses the album’s original, unforgettable beat. West never fails with his creative lyrics. Unlike The Weeknd’s version, which focuses on drugs, sex and a reckless lifestyle, West’s is slightly emotional. Lyrics like “[…] money is the only thing I’m chasin,’” are replaced by The Weeknd’s. West’s theme may be honesty, even chasing someone to fix a relationship. Here is a sample of his lyrics:

“Riding down the 405, baby/Pacing, thinking, to myself/If I should make it right/When I pulled up to the light.”

West also brought back “Say You Will,” which was chosen to be remixed from “808s & Heartbreak,” which wasreleased in 2008. “808s & Heartbreak” was listed under Rolling Stone’s “40 Most Groundbreaking Albums Of All Time.” So, it’s not a surprise he decided to rework a track from the album. The song features Caroline Shaw, a violinist from New York.

Most people don’t know Shaw. As mentioned on her bio page, Shaw is a trained violinist, Grammy-winning singer and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2013. She has accomplished great things and worked with influential musicians to be a current “doctoral candidate in composition at Princeton.”

The original song has a slower, calmer instrumental, which is definitely an older West feel to the music. This is the sound his fans missed when he released his “Yeezus” album in 2013. Although the artist faced many trials and tribulations in 2008 after losing both his mother and fiancé, his fans appreciated the variety of music he released. His songs on the album had soul and hidden meanings at a time when everyone was trying to figure out his ‘innovative’ thinking and ‘artistic’ views.

Now that time has passed, West has become an icon. He’s known for being unique, especially with this song. In the remix, he has Shaw start off with a rapid repeated phrase that remains throughout the entire piece. The volume of her chorus in the background increases when the hook is played. It stimulates feelings of excitement with a dark twist present in most of his music. Shaw also repeats West’s verse, “Don’t say you will,” in the background towards the middle and end of the song when the beat drops. He made a right choice by choosing her. The song was taken and transformed by the newer version of West. It follows his evolution of music since his freshman and sophomore albums. The lyrics may be the same, but he continues to outdo himself.  A few fans left reviews saying they’ve got “goose bumps,” that West delivered “art” and the song was “deep.”

Although both remixed songs have two different vibes to them, they carry the same themes present in “808s & Heartbreak,” or “My Beautiful Twisted Fantasy,” as the Independent points out. This time, with new beats and newly featured artists, fans will expect more from West. His next album is already titled “SWISH.” Now, we wait on the musical genius.

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