Jay-Z, Kanye West earn high praise for "Throne"

Mon Aug 8, 2011 8:45pm EDT
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By Sabrina Ford

NEW YORK (Reuters) - No need for Kanye West and Jay-Z to simply watch a throne. Judging by Monday's reviews and Web response to their new album, "Watch the Throne," they should just sit atop it to reign over the realm of hip hop.

The highly anticipated album from the pair of music masters was met with high praise across the Web only hours after being released exclusively on iTunes at midnight, Monday.

The album received glowing early reviews. Allhiphop.com gave it 9 out of 10 stars, calling it "a creative victory at worse and at its very best, a paradigm shift for Hip-Hop."

Musician and producer Questlove of Grammy-winning band The Roots took to Twitter in the wee hours of the morning, enthralled by Jay-Z's performances on an emerging fan favorite. He tweeted: "Hov's verse on 'Who Gone Stop Me' is gettin a 4th listen at 2am."

Hip-hop historian and deejay Davey D was so impressed he tweeted that "Watch the Throne" "is better than illmatic, 36 chambers, Aquemini, Sgt Pepper & Joshua Tree combined," referring to albums from Nas, Wu-Tang Clan, Outkast, the Beatles, and U2.

Davey D was accused of getting carried away by journalist and author Toure, who tweeted, "friends don't let friends overhype." But even Toure was impressed, calling the album "great," and lauding the "substantive" lyrics on tracks like "New Day" on which Kanye and Jay-Z address their future sons.

Only a few comments steered toward negative. The Chicago Tribune's Greg Kot gave the album two out of four stars and called Kanye "desperate, transparent, awkward, vulnerable." He also said Jay-Z lost his steam,

"He no longer needs to surprise us, he simply needs to file annual updates reminding us that, after all, he's Jay-Z and you're not," Kot said.   Continued...