Believe me, I get why it's interesting. Kanye aiming for Portishead, for Bjork, for Thom Yorke. At the same time, he's aiming for Akon & T-Pain. Unabashed anguish from a megastar. It's interesting.
But it's also an insult to Portishead, Bjork and Thom Yorke. Hell, it's an insult to Akon & T-Pain. It's the unabashed anguish of an egomaniac who lost a girl he treated like shit. Not that he regrets treating her like shit - he just can't believe she left him. He's the greatest guy in the world! He's not sorry, he's confused. How could she be so heartless? "Will I ever love again?" "Life's just not fair." For all the dramatic distorted synths, this is a dark night of the soul worthy of Spencer Pratt. It's "Song Cry" Phil Collinsed & chopped. And I hated "Song Cry." I hate hearing guys say "when I cheated, it was different" with a straight face. I'm kinda shocked more people don't.
Not that anyone's really praising his lyrics. "He's always been an asshole." But he used to be an asshole with a sense of humor. He never really bothered to rhyme, but now he doesn't even bother to off-rhyme. He just spouts douchey nam-myoho-renge-kyos into a computer. When he does bless us with a novel noun, it's "why you gotta be so Dr. Evil?" And you're not allowed to laugh. He's in pain, and it's all her fault. Poor Kanye.
Sorry, but when I want distorted synth dystopia, I'll pop on Third or The Eraser. Beth and Thom can sing. On top that gift Kanye lacks, they also sound like they take more than two weeks to write and record an album. Their misery is abstracted - which is preferable to petty. I appreciate the beauty of what I'm hearing, not what a phenomenally shitty boyfriend Kanye must be. Their vague moans aren't for all, but the moping shouldn't offend anyone who'd sit through 808s & Heartbreak. I'm not so hard-up for this sound that I need to put up with a grating "okayyy, okayyy okayyyy, you need to stop it nowww, you need to stop it nowwwww."
If I want moody auto-pop, Akon's got this tearful yet pulsing hit called "Right Now (Na Na Na)." He even bothers to change a word or two on each line of the chorus. Maybe that proves he's not really sad like Kanye. Maybe it doesn't make people think about the depth of Akon's sadface the way 808s lets people think about the depth of Kanye's sadface. But why would you want to?