Monday, May 30, 2011
Grey Album > Black Album.
Blasphemy? Probably yeah, but that just how I feel. Like don't get me wrong, there are amazing songs on the original Black album. 99 Problems, Lucifer, PSA, My 1st Song. However there are duds. Allure, Threat, Justify My Thug, Moment of Clarity.
Actually to call them duds would be inaccurate. The raps on these songs are fine, but the production is lackluster. Allure is probably one of the worst beats I've ever heard. The lyrical content is heavy, but the beats don't match. Its like Jay had been working on the album in his head for years, but the producers weren't on the same page.
What the Grey Album has (after the novelty of the Beatles samples has worn off) is cohesion. It shapes the feel of the song around the content of the raps that are already there so it starts to take shape. Even the use of the Beatles as a sample source gives the album a sense of weight and gravity to match the importance of the lyrics. This is Jay 'retiring', summing everything up and stepping away. It has a reverence to material that the original album didn't have.
This could also just be a product of context. I heard alot of these songs for the first time in the Grey Album form and got chills. When I heard the originals, I was underwhelmed. But thats just me. I don't expect to change anyones mind on this, just my thoughts...
But srsly, the Neptunes version Allure is garbage, so I'm also posting the awesome Ratatat version below. Enjoy.
Jay Z - Allure (Ratatat Remix)