Kanye West's "Yeezus" Reviewed: "Bound 2"

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We’re reviewing every song on Kanye West’s Yeezus today to commemorate its release this week. Stay tuned for our take on all ten tracks on the rapper/producer’s latest masterwork!

The pitched-up soul sample was once an inextricable staple of Kanye's production style, on smash hits like "Through the Wire" and "Slwo Jamz," but Kanye's evolved into a very different artist over the years, and such samples no longer really vibe with where he's at now, musically or lyrically. That's what makes "Bound 2" such a stunner--more than any of the scraping, abrasive, violent sounds to be found on Yeezus, the really striking listen is Kanye going back to his old-school soul roots on the album closer, with a sample from the forgotten family group Ponderosa Twins Plus One's early-'70s single "Bound" anchoring the song, and another sample from Brenda Lee's late-'50s hit "Sweet Nothin'" providing the punctuation (the unforgettable "Uh-huh, honey" hook).

Make no mistake, though, this isn't Kanye playing back-in-the-day--the samples, while familiar-sounding, also feel alien due to its not being tethered to any kind of additional beat, making them come off as disembodied and almost kind of disturbing. This disconnect is confirmed by the song's unforeseeable cut-ins to a much darker-sounding synth section, with go-to soul man Charlie Wilson wailing "I know you're tired of loving, with nobody to love," as well as Kanye's extremely unsentimental, mentally scattered lyrics ("I wanna fuck you on the sink / After that, get you something to drink," "Hey, you remember where we first met? / OK, I don't remember where we first met"). And of course, the whole thing closes on a protracted reference to the show Martin that no one under the age of 30 is likely to get.

It's an extremely odd, yet somehow appropriate note for an album like Yeezus to end on, and in its own way, it's just as revelatory a listening experience as "Black Skinhead" or "New Slaves."

POPDUST SAYS: 4.5/5

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