On his 2004 debut, The College Dropout, Kanye West famously proclaimed that “Jesus Walks” with us. Now his ego has grown to such mythic proportions that he’s comparing himself to Christ with the title of his sixth solo album, Yeezus (a play on West’s nickname, Yeezy). Just in case you weren’t clear where he was going with that, one of the tracks is bluntly named “I Am a God”: “I know He the Most High/ But I am a close high,” he boasts over a sinister soundscape that evokes Hell more than Heaven. Indeed, the relentlessly gloomy Yeezus, wielding a decided industrial edge, could be called My Beautiful Darker Twisted Fantasy. The album also harks back to 808s & Heartbreak with its electro beats and West even crooning again at times. But the joyless, sometimes dirgelike quality makes Yeezus hard to love. Still, it’s easy to admire brilliant moments like “Black Skinhead,” a rumbling, “Monster”-esque banger on which he raps, “They say I’m possessed/ It’s the omen,” playing the demon instead of the deity.
Given all the drama surrounding her highly publicized affair with now-husband Eddie Cibrian, which broke up both of their marriages in 2009, LeAnn Rimes certainly has plenty of juicy material for country songs. Spitfire, her first album with original tunes since the scandal, sparks with real-life heat and heart, from the ballads “Borrowed” and “What Have I Done?” to the deceptively breezy “Just a Girl Like You.” Through it all, Rimes succeeds at turning the focus away from her being a tabloid figure and back to her being a first-rate country singer.
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