Best album of 2013…

Kanye-Yeezus

Kanye West’s “Yeezus.”

Here’s my review of the album, which was published in The Salt Lake Tribune earlier this year.

*****

If there were any questions of whether or not impending fatherhood would bring out a softer side in Kanye West’s music, the first few seconds of his latest album, “Yeezus,” quickly puts those issues to rest.

“Yeezus” is West’s most polarizing effort to date both musically and lyrically as he tackles themes of materialism, race, religion and sex. There are no radio-friendly singles like “Runaway” from 2010’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.”

This album is an exercise in raw minimalism, where songs often rely on nothing more than a single instrument and West’s vocals. The instrumentation here is a genre-bending mix of grimey electro to dusty soul samples to Jamaican dancehall — and at times, all of these styles can be present on the same track.

Compared to West’s earlier works, the musical experimentalism on “Yeezus” is more beautiful, darker, more twisted and more fantastic than anything he has ever done.