Album Review: Kanye West, ‘Donda’

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Before it was an actual album that arrived on streaming services on Sunday, August 29, Donda was a million different things. And maybe, as an endlessly malleable product with no set release date and an excuse for us to mythologize its creator, it had reached its ideal form. Ahead of the album’s third listening party at Soldier Field in Chicago, Kanye West launched a Stem Player that would accompany the release of the album, allowing fans to customize any one of its songs by controlling instruments, isolating parts, or adding effects. And when the LP once again failed to materialize last Friday, undercutting the promise of molding something that would likely never exist in any real capacity seemed like the most poignant statement this whole rollout had to offer. If this was going to be it, the message was loud and clear, more reflective of our own desires and biases as an audience than West’s ego.

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