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Oct 18, 2018
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Albums release to high, low acclaim

Two of three highly anticipated albums make Billboard’s Top 200

Three highly anticipated albums released this week received widespread critical acclaim. Kanye West’s latest album is number one on Billboard’s top 200.

“My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” which topped the charts late Wednesday, came out ahead of Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now” and Nicki Minaj’s “Pink Friday.” The Black Eyed Peas’ brand-new album “The Beginning” was not in the top 100 when The Collegian went to press.

MY BEAUTIFUL DARK TWISTED FANTASY / Kanye West

(five out of five stars)

Kanye West’s latest effort got off to a momentous start with its first single “Power” featured at the World Series and even Fresno State football games, plus controversy over an edgy album cover. “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” establishes the pinnacle of West’s rap career through detailed, luxurious samples and the gritty release of pent-up emotions.

West fronts an elaborate monster persona throughout “Fantasy,” save for one line in the chorus in “Runaway”: “I don’t know how I’m going to manage/If one day you just up and leave.” This leaves listeners with what is indeed West’s most dark, tough and impersonal release to date.

A la Carte tracks:

“So Appalled”
“Lost In The World”
“Runaway”

THE BEGINNING / Black Eyed Peas

(two out of five stars)

If “The Beginning” is an indication of where Black Eyed Peas intend to take their dance pop sound, the group should have cut their losses at their last album, “The E.N.D.”

The Peas’ latest effort flatlines under heavy production and, save for “Whenever,” the nearly complete abandonment of Fergie’s signature vocals. Through a cross-pollination of typical BEP with the vibe of Daft Punk, “The Beginning” is a gamble of an effort to replicate the success of “The E.N.D.,” and it’s an effort that ultimately fails.

A la Carte tracks:
“Love You Long Time”
“Whenever”

NUMBER ONE HITS / Tim McGraw

(three out of five stars)

With his latest release, a 24-track smorgasbord of hits, Tim McGraw puts a cherry on top of his last 16 years, the last 10 of those years he was the most played artist on the radio.

This career-spanning glance in the rearview mirror outlines a tremendously successful career for McGraw, including hits like “Unbroken” and “Live Like You Were Dying.”

For those that seek a primer of country’s main man, this collection is a good place to start your education.

A la Carte tracks:
“Felt Good On My Lips”
“Indian Outlaw”

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