Coldplay - Prospekt's March B
This EP is not all that different from Viva La Vida. At 27 minutes and 8 songs long it breezes by and promises not to disturb the peace. Standouts include Glass of Water, a track that would've been right at home on Viva La Vida and the quiet heartbreaker, Prospekt's March/Poppyfields. The track featuring Jay-Z (Lost) is a little disappointing, but not horrible.
Jay-Z - American Gangster C+
This album came out in November of 2007, I hesitated buying this album because when I heard that jigga was inspired by the film (American Gangster) I thought he was just capitalizing on what was sure to be a blockbuster film. But lately I've been in the mood for Jay-Z, and my curiosity got the best of me (this has been tauted as one of his best outings). This album didn't totally grab me at first listen, it struck me as an album of straps with some fancy, bouncy, retro beats. The album is soulful and I can see the appeal, but it feels like an album aiming for the mainstream. That being said, the album has the potential to grow on me after repeated listens. I love the audio clips from the film, and the standout tracks include the title track American Gangster and Success. This one is gonna sound great in the car stereo on the open road.
Kanye West - 808s and Heartbreak B
I'm a sucker for break up albums and/or album that derive from some sort of tragedy... some of the best art is born this way. Kanye is definitely one of the most talented musicians around, albeit a little overexposed. 808s and Heartbreak is done in a mostly auto-tuned voice, which was kind of annoying at first listen. I know it's done this way to convey a certain ambiance but one can only imagine how much better (or worse) these tracks could have been. The lyrics are pretty good and what you'd expect from someone going through a sea change. The album is interesting and intriguing, only time will tell if it has the ability to completely hook me. I commend Mr. West for stepping outside the box and taking a musical risk. Standout tracks are Love Lockdown and Paranoid.