Yes, so two of this year's most anticipated releases have arrived. Firstly, Kanye's Late Registration, a record that has received so much acclaim already that adding a view seems superfluous. But, I'm not entirely excited. Yes, it flows almost as gracefully as College Dropout, his love and compassion is still put to the fore and he is still the most humane rapper out there, including the indie-hoppers, which helps when you've got goons such as The Game doing cameos. He has valuable input on topics of Sierra Leone, the best track on the album, and the dangers of crack to the black community and the community at large. Because he is smarter than your average Joe, his recent comments about Bush Jr.'s seemingly neglect of African-Americans in the wake of the disaster in New Orleans are genuine words of concern, as well as that of an enraged citizen, more than misinformed ravings from the world of bling bling. The music, though, sometimes lack the smarts of his words. Most samplings are used as complete backing tracks, which brings African-American music tradition into the present, but the samplings seem too obvious. Move on up, indeed, but a bit of forward motion is also welcome. It's still a great album.
The New Pornographers' Twin Cinema is a bigger disappointment. It starts with a bang, but falls flat too early. No letters from occupants, nor slow descents into alcoholism, and none of the tracks are as catchy as the ones on Mass Romantic. Twin Cinema is more coherent and slightly better than Electric Version, but I fear the air has been let out of the balloon some time ago.