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08:57 PM on 11/20/12
Craig Manning
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You could also argue that the other albums would have the same appeal if they were released now. They were all very well reviewed, and they were all very accessible. In fact, I'd say MBDTF is the least accessibility because it's a lot darker than the others.Plus Kanye presents himself as less a common person than a celebrity on that album, making him a bit less relatable.

Having said that, MBDTF is sort of in tune with the dark, electronic thing that's been prevalent in pop music for the last few years, so that does add to its mainstream appeal. And as for his celebrity persona, that's very much part of the product now. It's possible that larger-than-life Kanye is just more interesting to the general public than big-headed everyman Kanye.

I don't think I follow the line of reasoning in your first sentence. Sure, they were successful and highly acclaimed (both score mid-to-high 80s on Metacritic), but they didn't receive the almost across-the-board perfect score/album of the year title reception that MBDTF got, and I personally have always thought that was because 1) the latter plays as a more cohesive whole, largely thanks to its darker themes and Kanye's self-introspection and that 2) the latter is more accessible to a broad range of genres because it is more grounded in pop music and rock n roll than any of its predecessors. I get what you're saying with the relatability issue, but for me at least (and I feel as if I'm a fairly good barometer, since I had only ever dabbled in hip hop before that album came out), there's no question that MBDTF is his most immediate, accessible, and fully-formed work to date.

think about this all the time. it's why I really don't like scores on reviews.

I loathe scoring albums, half because I feel like I never quite agree with my ratings a few months down the road, but also because I feel like people often base how they are supposed to feel about an album off of how other people have rated it. Maybe that's the role of the music critic these days, I'm not really sure, but I really don't see much significance in a score beyond purely personal impact.
09:10 PM on 11/20/12
Supernova
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Dj Shadow - ...Endtroducing
Jimmy Eat World - Futures
Brand New - Tdagarim
Deftones - White Pony

Those are "classics" for me. Will never get old, really hit me hard from first listen and still does to some extent now. Started listening in a key part of my life.
09:12 PM on 11/20/12
kbomb001
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Sorry, I'm geeked on the fact that he said that Flockaveli is a classic album. I LOVE FLOCKA! SQUAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD~
09:17 PM on 11/20/12
brook183
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I think the fact that so many are quick to say MBDTF is a classic kinda means it's a classic, does it not?
09:31 PM on 11/20/12
ChaseTx
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I don't think I follow the line of reasoning in your first sentence. Sure, they were successful and highly acclaimed (both score mid-to-high 80s on Metacritic), but they didn't receive the almost across-the-board perfect score/album of the year title reception that MBDTF got, and I personally have always thought that was because 1) the latter plays as a more cohesive whole, largely thanks to its darker themes and Kanye's self-introspection and that 2) the latter is more accessible to a broad range of genres because it is more grounded in pop music and rock n roll than any of its predecessors. I get what you're saying with the relatability issue, but for me at least (and I feel as if I'm a fairly good barometer, since I had only ever dabbled in hip hop before that album came out), there's no question that MBDTF is his most immediate, accessible, and fully-formed work to date.
I don't know a lot of the details on how MBDTF was reviewed on release, as I wasn't paying too much attention at the time. But you have to figure that some of that is momentum built up from the previous releases. Sites and magazines that wouldn't cover him before came to terms with the artist Kanye is and gave him favorable reviews. Publications that previously may have just written him off as a gimmick saw that his music had lasting power and legitimate artistry. I feel like some of the misgivings they might have had about him before had been assuaged, permitting them to go into their reviews less cautiously, without fear of being seen as scoring it higher than it warranted. Does that make sense?

For a couple years in high school, I started listening to nothing but hip-hop, and College Dropout was definitely one of the albums that made me a huge fan of the genre. It's odd to think whether MBDTF would have the same effect on me, because it just didn't have as much appeal to me at 24 as CD had at 17. It's got a few great tracks, then it's got some mediocre ones. I think CD had the right mix of pop appeal, solid songwriting, and variety to fit my tastes. And it has staying power.
09:36 PM on 11/20/12
Searos
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Personal Classics

Counting Crows - August And Everything
Saves The Day - In Reverie
Dinosaur Jr - Where You Been
Jimmy Eat World - Bleed American
American Steel - Jagged Thoughts
No Use For A Name - More Betterness
Taking Back Sunday - Tell All Your Friends
Brand New - The Devil and The God Are Raging Inside Me
Coldplay - A Rush Of Blood To The Head
09:46 PM on 11/20/12
Ismael182
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I just know that the first time I listened to Jimmy Eat World Bleed American and Brand New The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me that they were instant classics.
09:52 PM on 11/20/12
Your Milkshake
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The Devil and God
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
Good News For People Who Love Bad News
Colors
Deloused in the Comatorium
Jane Doe
10:53 PM on 11/20/12
Dan1234
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Catch 22 - Keasbey Nights
11:28 PM on 11/20/12
The_Effort
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I feel like the word classic gets thrown around a lot in this day and age. Every time an artist puts out an album that is exceptionally good, it seems like people throw out the classic card almost immediately. Why? Can't an album just be a great album and not an "instant classic"? Does instant classic even exist if how it holds up over time is a factor?
As far as GKMC goes, I think it has classic potential. Is it a classic (in my eyes)? No. Is it possible that one day it will be considered classic? Yes, I think so.

Have things always been this way? When Illmatic came out, were people praising it the way they do now, or did that acclaim take time? When Third Eye Blinds album came out, what did people say other than its good?

Edit: read the article- it shed some light on what people said about Illmatic upon its release. Good read.
11:43 PM on 11/20/12
Sherlock's Mind
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Blu & Exile "Below the Heavens" is the only classic hip-hop album of the past 5-6 years. And I rank Midnight Marauders over Low End Theory, but Tribe is Tribe so it's win-win.
Below the Heavens is a classic but it's not even the best hip hop album of the past 5 years. That goes to Atmosphere "When Life Gives You Lemons".
12:06 AM on 11/21/12
ShotgunGold
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When it comes to hip-hop, I don't consider any of it to be 'classic' - far from it.

When it comes to rock, I think there have been loads of albums recently that could be classic, but I reckon it takes a good 10 years to really be sure. The problem is because it's all become so alternative, and 'supposedly' the best albums are very alternative now, they rarely actually sell many copies and get out to a large audience, unlike the 'classics' of the 60s/70s/80s.

Furthermore music critics seem to think that to be a classic it's got to be 100% new, forgetting the fact that the majority of people don't actually listen to much music that is older than 10 years. So quite frankly if a band brings out an album that has a very similar sound to some 70's band then I don't generally give a damn because the 70's were flipping 40 years ago and I've never heard that type of music before.
03:43 AM on 11/21/12
Mrk_Brdshw
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There are a couple of different types of "classic" to me, but the most accurate for me would be an album that is very nostalgic but also timeless at the same time.

Sounds like a contradiction, but this is what I'm finding with albums that I still enjoy 5 to 10 years after I first heard them. To me, an album that fits this version of the term "classic" is an album like blink-182's self-titled record. Every time I listen to that album, it takes me back to when I first bought the CD when I was 14, listening to it on the school bus, learning the whole thing on guitar, watching the studio footage of them making the record, etc... But, at the same time, I STILL listen to that CD pretty regularly. I'm still learning new things about those songs and still thoroughly enjoy listening to it, and it's because the sound is recognizable as music from that time period, but it does not sound dated because of how unique and well-written it is.

On the other hand, you could say something that was really influential is classic, even though you don't necessarily enjoy it anymore. I won't listen to New Found Glory's self-titled record anymore because it sounds completely dated and almost childish at times, but when it first came out, I was completely in love with it, and it was very influential to me, so I guess I would have to say it was classic for that reason alone.
05:08 AM on 11/21/12
BozzBlonde
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I read that Pitchfork article, and I completely agree. I can't understand why people listen to Kendrick's album and instantly call it a classic. More than half of these people will put this album out of their personal rotation in 6 months and possibly never return to it.

Certainly there is a difference between a personal classic and a generally acclaimed "classic" record. For example, a personal classic of mine will be Saves The Day's "Stay What You Are". While this record is considered a classic within the means of music listeners who seek out the emo/punk scene, for the majority of people, it's not. I'd say something like The College Dropout is on it's way to be a worldwide "classic". Has lasting value, tracks are still played by people all over the world to this very day.

I guess you really also have to consider the fact that our generation is far more saturated with music than the generations before us, which makes it harder to push through everything we personally enjoy and find the albums that are considered gems by society as a whole.

Probably the post I agree with the most.

You shouldn't be trying to make a "classic". Make the best music you can sure, and if it has an impact then great. But you shouldn't go into anything thinking about making a "classic" cause more often than not you'll fail.

Unless you're Refused.

I'd like to nominate The Shape of Punk to Come as a classic in this thread. Thoughts, go.
05:18 AM on 11/21/12
f00te
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albums that can mean different things for different times
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