Album: Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Roc-A-Fella)

Since his denunciation of Bush post-Katrina and the magnificent minimalism of 808s and Heartbreak, Kanye's been on a mission to blow that goodwill.

MBDTF is big on pompous, stentorian synth fanfares, but they only herald lame lines such as "Abomination/ Obama's nation". The best moments aren't West's at all: Smokey Robinson and King Crimson samples and a thrilling Nicki Minaj cameo. Saving grace? Self-awareness: he calls himself an "asshole" and a "douche bag".