Friday, November 8, 2013

Song #416 of 9999 - Flashing Lights by Kanye West

Song #416 of 9999

Title: Flashing Lights
Artist: Kanye West
Year: 2007
Album: Graduation

Yep, Kanye's rich and famous now. You can tell by all the glittery strings and synths that open the track "Flashing Lights" from his third major release Graduation. You can almost picture the limo pulling up to the curb, Kanye emerging in slow motion from the back seat with his crew. It's cinematic and y'all better take notice.

Of course, the lyrics that spill out in a droopy dog drawl tell a slightly different story, one of discontent with his newfound fame. Yeezy seems to have it all but is missing the things that make him happy. Feeling like Katrina without F.E.M.A/Like Martin with no Gina/Like a flight with no visa, the man is lost on the road and longing for home.

One of my favorite things about this song and about West's performance is how he's not afraid to come out firing on just one or two cylinders. This is a   s  l   o  w  groove and he starts each verse with lines that don't even try to fill the space. But by the time he starts rhyming more of the with Florida and ordered the with hors d'oerves, he's unleashed a liquid rhythm that fills all the cracks. There's plenty of space in the second verse as well as West tells the story like he's on his therapist's couch. It's the natural rhythm of speech and it lends an airy intimacy to a song that's at least partially about having no privacy at all.

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