The Poetry Question

Discovering the Relevance of Words

Kanye West’s “Yeezus” CD Comes With No Art. Bold Move, or Just Plain Lazy?

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Kanye West is releasing his new CD, “Yeezus,” on June 18th. This is the actual “CD artwork.” There is nothing there: no liner notes, no cover, no CD design. For someone with so much to say, is this a bold move, or a silly one? I’m not sure how I feel about this.

I think I might be the only one of The Poetry Question authors to enjoy Kanye, but I’m a bit confused by this move. I want to like it. I want to think that it’s bold, and that he’s “letting the music speak for itself,” but on the other hand, it’s kind of lazy.

The whole point of buying an actual CD is to appreciate the cover art, and read through the liner notes, like we used to do – or still do – with actual albums. I will not purchase the physical Kayne disc, as I have the other ones; I will instead grab it from itunes, or an “online source.” How do you feel about this?

About Christopher Margolin

Chris Margolin spent more than a decade in Education as a high school English teacher, and is now an Instructional Coach for the Longview School District. He is also the founder of The Poetry Question, an online journal which focuses on reviews of small press poetry publications, and runs a regular series called "The Power of Poetry," where notable poets share their personal stories of how poetry has affected their lives. Margolin resides in Vancouver, Washington with his wife, and daughter.

2 comments on “Kanye West’s “Yeezus” CD Comes With No Art. Bold Move, or Just Plain Lazy?

  1. Brandon Hekel
    June 2, 2013

    I didn’t think about the likelihood of simply buying it off of iTunes. In that aspect, it’s a dumb decision. Back in the vinyl days, cover art was one of the appealing aspects to an album. In fact, it coveys the emotion that album’s trying to give off (Ex: King Crimson’s In The Court of the Crimson King). You open up that freshly-packaged LP and enter that colorful, magical gatefold artwork. Let’s face it: it leaves a lasting impression. What’s this CD trying to convey if it’s empty? Blank? Perhaps that’s the whole concept of this CD… Emptiness… Or perhaps I have a bias since I’ve just never thought of Kanye as an appealing artist… In a world of illegal downloads, you want a creative idea to convince people into BUYING that album. When Steven Wilson’s The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories) Deluxe Set came on sale, I pre-ordered it a day later. It set me back $100, but was it worth it? Obviously. It contained a massive 128 page hardback book containing various drawings expressing the ‘ghost story’ concept, (it’s a concept-album) demos of the songs before they were mastered, lyrics, blu-ray studio documentary, art gallery, and bonus songs. Now that’s creative marketing technique. In a way, it shows Steven Wilson cares about his loyal fans, refining every detail and rewarding us with a prettily-packaged assortment of goodies.

    Here’s the real question: Who’s gonna buy this and cherish it for years to come? It’ll be that lost CD; hidden in your heaping pile of compact discs. I’m not impressed.

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This entry was posted on June 1, 2013 by in COMMENTARY and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

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