For all the talk of Kanye’s self-centeredness, his brattish behaviour, his tantrums and his ego, there is no doubt that only a man as complicated and self-assured as Mr. West could have pulled off the grand vision of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Whereas 808s And Heartbreaks was marked out by autotune and a lack of guests, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy finds Kanye going through the rolodex, fitting everyone in and making it work on an epic level. ‘All of The Lights’ alone features John Legend, Fergie Black Eyed Peas, Rihanna, La Roux, Elton John, Ryan Leslie, Kid Cudi, Charlie Wilson and Alicia Keys yet it still stands out as the most focused and bombastic pop song of the year.
Elsewhere, Nicki Minaj owns 2010′s best rap verse on ‘Monster‘, Bon Iver provides some gruff backing vocals and allows his own ‘The Woods’ to be sacrificed for the good of ‘Lost In The World‘, Pusha T provides the voice of the street coke rap posse while RZA and Jay-Z embolden the pure rap tune of the year ‘So Appalled’. But this is Kanye’s Dark Twisted World and he shines the most, both as an MC and as a producer of next-level hip-hop & pop event albums. Hearing how he turned Aphex Twin’s ‘Avril 14′ into ‘Blame Game’ remains one of 2010′s most enduring surprises but the power in the album comes listening to it as a whole. This is Kanye’s Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, we’re just happy to be in it for 70 minutes.