I feel like I'm sitting outside the gates of pop music and can't work out how to get in sometimes. I've been sent both 808s & Heartbreak and I am Sasha Fierce from various sources this week and I can't listen to either of them (yet).
I read a painstakingly thorough and in depth review of 808s by Shan Phearon on Pinboard Blog - and spent more time on that than I did skipping through the album. I just can't get down with this auto-tune thing. This is my personal taste speaking, it's not a review, I just feel completely disconnected when I hear what to me sounds like a sad robot who can't sing but is doing his best. Another friend had a go at me for about an hour (& is still sending me messages about it) because I don't like Chopped and Screwed by T Pain & Luda. I don't like cough syrup either, sorry. I heard a very interesting take on 808s by another friend which in summary was - he's about to drop a hip hop record really soon which will send everyone crazy, but if you keep doing the same thing people won't be so eager for it, so he made this album on purpose - like Common's Electric Circus. Who knows what he's about to do next. I have so much respect for Kanye despite never having been a big fan of his music (see the vid below). I think he has a brilliant mind, an amazing attitude and rare passion...but if this album is real it's a very personal 'I don't give a fuck what you think' statement.
Beyonce, on the other hand, is just worrying. Some things you keep to yourself - and surely your diva alter ego should be one of them (or you're entering Mariah/Mimi territory)?! I wasn't really feeling B'Day (apart from Ring the Alarm), but this new album is just waste. I really don't understand her If I Were a Boy single - didn't Ciara do this last year - much better?
That Put a Ring On It song for someone else would be acceptable, but for the woman who made Crazy In Love it's undeniably below par.
In summary - sometimes you need people around to tell you when something is 'fun to do, not to watch'. (See how many times you can apply this phrase to things you see today!). I imagine you may start with this article...