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!
It was probably inevitable after the album's scorching opening four-song gambit that 'Ye would have to dial things back a bit for side-one closer "Hold My Liquor." The song is both far longer and far less musically frenetic than any on the album to that point, with pulsating synths and Ratatat-like guitar work laid over a slow-but-steady four/four beat, sounding almost like an instrumental that could've been on the Drive soundtrack. Kanye's sole verse in the song is the obvious highlight, with added stabs of metallic distortion augmenting his typically piercing lyrics about substance abuse issues mixed with relationship issues mixed with general self-image issues, somehow sneaking in references to Deepak Chopra and 2Pac in the process.
Unfortunately, the majority of the song is keyed around guest contributions from two rather unlikely studiofellows: Grammy-winning folk singer/songwriter Bon Iver and controversial teen gangsta rapper Chief Keef. Their contributions aren't as disparate as you'd think, though--both are distorted to the point of near-unrecognizability anyway--and neither really commands much attention, with Iver's vocals wafting unintelligibly into the either and Keef's thoughtless barks ("I can't handle no liquor / But these bitches can't handle me") adding little of substance. Another Kanye verse would've been a far better way to pass the song's five-and-a-half-minute runtime than these two's uninspiring efforts.
POPDUST SAYS: 3/5