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November 24, 2008 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-11-24

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, November 24, 2008 -5A

At the 'Heartbreak' hotel

After a rough year,
Kanye West returns
with emotional and
uncharacteristic album
By MATT EMERY
ManagingArts Editor
I don't believe Kanye West. When he
says he's the voice of our generation, Iknow
he's not, and I don't think he even believes
that. When he tries to pin
the media as an all-out,
} blood-sucking vampire,
he's only partly right. He Kanye West
made himself the person
the paparazzi want and 808s and
need in their life, and he Heartbreak
wouldn't be anything Roc-A-Fella
without them. If photog-
raphers stopped taking
photos of Kanye, he'd complain about that,
too. And when Kanye says he's pissed at
MTV for not recognizing his achievements
with VMAs, I don't even know if he's really
upset. If he swept the ceremony, he'd say
he wouldn't accept the awards because
the network is racist and MTV is main-
stream wish-wash, and that he, the voice of
a generation, the top man in hip hop, is an
underground artist sticking to what's true
- something MTV doesn't stand for.
So this is why it's hard to believe Kanye
when he says his latest album, 808s and
1 Heartbreak, is supposed to sound like Phil
Collins and is made to win awards. Kanye
is too good for that. He lies a lot, but in the
most perfectly calculated way. He keeps his
name in the media at the right time (punch-
ing a photographer; getting arrested;
releasing lengthy, fiery blog responses that
are picked up by every music blog, website
and newspaper in the world) without even
hyping an album. And he does it all while
sittinginhisversionofthe Bat Cave, brood-
ing and rubbing his hands together, think-
ing, "Perfect."
But things apparently aren't perfect in
Kanye's world, and 808s and Heartbreak
explains that better than anyone could
have expected from Mr. West. Heartbreak
is filled with images of - not surprisingly
- heartbreak and loss, and by no means

Kanye West admires new "Kanye West Sex Doll," now available at the Safe Sex Store.

is similarly connected to his past albums.
If Graduation truly was Kanye's gradua-
tion from the world of hip hop, then this is
Kanye's awkward first job where he's upset,
moody and just downright depressed try-
ing out new things.
Kanye had been working toward an
album like this for a while, with the elec-
tronic elements of"Stronger" pullingKanye
into new territory. But Heartbreak shoves
all dabbling efforts out of the spaceship
window with flowery electro-flourishes
and strings on "RoboCop" or the simplistic
and snail-paced beeps on "Say You Will."
And whether the breathiness and inhales

are meant to add realism and closeness
remains foggy with such lines like, "I wish
this song wouldn't come true."
From the onset, the aforementioned "Say
You Will" ushers in a new Kanye - atoned-
down, sordidly thumping Kanye. Even the
tracks thatshould have all the qualities and
guest appearances to make them the next
"Touch the Sky" or "Gold Digger" don't
have the same sort of Kanye pep. Lil Wayne
on "See You in My Nightmares" plods along
well enough, but gets bogged down by the
Auto-Tuned verses that don't do much
more than garble along with some interjec-
tions of"Tell everybody that you know."

Heartbreak isn't even so much a hip-hop
album. Kanye sings on all but a few tracks,
one being the odd "Paranoid," which
already sets itself apart from the rest of the
album by moving along at a brisk pace. The
rest of the album is stunningly tragic and
shows Mr. Swagger in a place that wasn't
supposed to exist. Gone are the days of pop-
pin' champagne and "The Good Life." Mr.
West now spends his time lamenting things
like friends showing him pictures of their
children, and Kanye having nothing but
vanity. He
sings on
thegloom-

ily depressing "Welcome to Heartbreak,":
"My friends show me pictures of his kids /
And all I could show him was pictures of
my cribs."
Auto-Tune plays a role in the computer-
ized feel, emerging on almost every track,
and whether that's a selling point doesn't
seem to matter. Even technical splashes
can't save the fact that Kanye isn't a good
singer. The man can rap, and does possess
melody - something he was gunning for
See KANYE, Page 8A

TV REVIEW
Tag: the reality show version

f
I
1

By JAMIE BLOCK Spontaneity would seem fair.
Daily Arts Writer "Cha$e" doesn't do this at all. The
hunters walk in straight lines, turn
"Cha$e" could've been the cool- at perfect 90-degree angles and
est game show only look directly in front of them.
on television. The show even superimposes a
It claims to be targeting reticule with the words
a "real-life video C "Target Sighted" or "Searching"
game," where over each hunter's first-person
suit-wearing Tuesdays view. Manipulating errors in a
"hunters" remi- at10 p.m. game's framework shouldn't be
niscent of the Sci Fi part of a live-action game show,
agents from but that's just what the contestants
"The Matrix" do to survive. The show would be
stalk contestants through a maze infinitely cooler if the hunters just
of city blocks. If a hunter manages walked around like normal people
to catch one, that player is elimi- and scoured the scene for contes-
nated. Thecontestantwhosurvives tants.
the hunt and reaches the finish line The players are given challenges
first wins a grand prize of $25,000, for which they're rewarded with
a figure that seems higher than the some rather lame tools: deflec-
show's budget. While the premise tors, invisibility glasses and sonic
is original, the game show unfor- stunners. The deflector sends a
tunately suffers from the same pit- hunter in the opposite direction;
falls that ruin the games it attempts the glasses blind hunters to you
to emulate. for two minutes; and the sonic
The appeal of a human video stunners freeze a hunter for two
game is that it could overcome the minutes. The recurring flaw is
restrictions of computer program- that the hunters are real people,
ming and artificial intelligence. not digital villains. The people

playing,
trained,
tool exc
actual h
robotica
when a
get" ma'
Soi
of'
trai
at themi
show fe
reality c
four-yea
they ma
There
game th
ers. Th
"money
the map

them must be really well- lects is worth $1,000 if that contes-
because they react to each tant wins. However, only one flag
eptionally quickly. Seeing was found in the pilot episode,
uman beings turn around making it seem like the producers
illy or stop in their tracks either forgot about the flags half-
contestant points a "gad- way through or hid them way too
de of duct tape and tin foil well. Also, too much of the game
relies on luck. Throughout the
show, host Trey Farley ("Bend It
Like Beckham") sends video mes-
me elements sages (which the hunters magi-
cally can't hear) to the contestants
video games telling them where to go, including
the finish line. Whoever happens
just don't to be closest to the finish line at the
time will obviously get there first.
nslate to TV. Winning the game isn't all that
impressive when it's only a mat-
ter of being in the right place at the
right time.
is just plain ridiculous. The "Cha$e" had the potential to
els less like a sleek, modern be among TV's most exciting and
ompetition and more like action-packed game shows, but
ir-olds playing some game instead, it's a failed attempt at
de up in their basement. turning video games into real-
are a lot of kinks in the ity. The creators clearly misjudged
at don't involve the hunt- whichparts ofvideogamingtrans-
ere are supposedly 25 late well into live-action television
flags" hidden throughout and which parts should remain
. Each flaga contestant col- solely virtual.

HUED,,

FINE ARTS PREVIEW
An all-inclusive art show

Do you recycle?
Recycling is easy and free!

By SARA SCHNEIDER
Daily Arts Writer
For many, choosing what art-
work goes into a gallery project
seems like a
daunting task.
Spectators often 7th Annual
walk in and out All Student
of art galleries
wondering how ExhIbitiOn
a specific piece Through
of artwork made Dec.11
the cut or why AlheArt&
it's worth being Architecture
displayed. Mark Buildin and
Nielsen, director Work llery
of exhibitions
at The Jean Paul Slusser Gallery,
often finds these questions difficult
to answer as well.
"You're getting into 'what is art'
territory there. I will say that the

longer I work in the arts, the less
able I am to answer that question,"
Nielsen said in an e-mail inter-
view.
Although displaying artwork
can be a scary task for young art-
ists, the School of Art and Design's
7th Annual "All Student Exhibi-
tion" provides a space to explore
this necessary step. The exhibition
runs through Dec. 11, and student
work will be installed in University
galleries, including Slusser, The
Warren Robbins Gallery, Work
Gallery and the Art and Architec-
ture Building on North Campus.
"Exhibiting is an absolutely cru-
cial aspect of the art-making pro-
cess," Nielsen said. "It's hard for a
lot of students to make the shock-
ing and sudden transition from the
solitude of studio activity to the
public domain of exhibiting."

The goal of the exhibition is to learn a bit about negotiating space
be inclusive. In order to ensure and making compromises. It's also
that students gain the experience a chance for the exhibition's staff
needed to display their work in the to help out a bit with installation
public sphere, the exhibition has no problems or issues student have
jury. It invites artists of all levels to with a specific work."
participate and view their work in Although all students are
encouraged to submit work with-
out the fear of rejection, the exhi-
bition staff still has to make tough
Giving students choices.
"The hard part is deciding what
gallery exposure. goes where among such a vast
spectrum of genre and ideas,"
Nielsen said. "Some things just kill
whatever you put them next to, not
a new setting. because they are bad or good, just
"They begin to think about how because of what they are."
their work changes with a change One example of this challenging
of context and see public reactions task was the placement of a giant
to the work they have entered," yellow piece made out of foam
Nielsen said. "With nearly 300 tubing titled "Comb," by Art and
students participating, they often See EXHIBITION, Page 8A

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