VH1 Storytellers (Kanye West album)

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VH1 Storytellers
Kanye west storytellers.jpg
Live album by
ReleasedJanuary 5, 2010 (2010-01-05)
RecordedFebruary 2009
ProducerKanye West
Kanye West chronology
808s & Heartbreak
VH1 Storytellers
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

VH1 Storytellers is the second live album by American recording artist Kanye West. It was released on January 5, 2010, through Def Jam Recordings and Roc-A-Fella Records.[1] Upon release, the album received generally positive reviews from music critics. Critics mostly had praise for the performances of West's tracks, though some of them panned his speaking.

Direction and production design was done by Es Devlin, while lighting design was handled by Martin Phillips and John McGuire.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[4]
The A.V. ClubC[5]
Consequence of SoundC+[6]
Entertainment WeeklyA[7]

VH1 Storytellers was met with generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, the album received an average score of 66, based on six reviews.[3] In a highly positive review, Leah Greenblatt from Entertainment Weekly viewed West as rarely boring and wrote that he "doesn't so much tell stories as pour his id onto the stage in rambling, free-form fragments."[7] Greenblatt continued, describing West's singing and speaking as being done "with a sort of messy, testifying fervor."[7] Writing for PopMatters, Ross Langager branded West's performances on the album as "often-exciting" and opined that "the main appeal of this episode of VH1 Storytellers lies in West's idiosyncratic take on the vaunted 'storytelling' portion of the show."[9]

Andy Kellman was less enthusiastic in AllMusic, claiming that "West repeatedly switches between laying his soul bare and acting like an egomaniac," though Kellman concluded by calling VH1 Storytellers "a nice addition to a hardcore supporter's collection."[4] In a mixed review, Nathan Rabin of The A.V. Club wrote that West "seems to violate the entire spirit of Storytellers" and expressed the viewpoint that "the rambling semi-stories here are disappointingly dull," while Rabin praised West as sounding "tight, accomplished, and polished to a blinding sheen" during performances of some tracks.[5] Similarly, Scott Plagenhoef from Pitchfork observed "less storytelling and more golden age of entertainment-type stuff" from West, claiming that he "should have had a highball in his hand."[8] However, Plagenhoef viewed West as "an entertainer and a perfectionist-- a bang-for-your-buck guy" and wrote: "Those at this taping presumably got their money's worth."[8]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "See You in My Nightmares" – 3:13
  2. "RoboCop" – 6:17
  3. "Flashing Lights" – 6:41
  4. "Amazing" – 8:24
  5. "Touch the Sky" – 9:53
  6. "Say You Will" – 7:42
  7. "Good Life" – 6:30
  8. "Heartless / Pinocchio Story" – 11:01
  9. "Stronger" – 4:53


  1. ^ "Featured Content on Myspace". Archived from the original on June 2, 2010. Retrieved December 16, 2019.
  2. ^ "Kanye West VH1 Storytellers". Es Devlin. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  3. ^ a b "VH1 Storytellers by Kanye West Reviews and Tracks". Metacritic. Retrieved December 16, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Kellman, Andy. "VH1 Storytellers – Kanye West". AllMusic. Retrieved December 16, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Rabin, Nathan (January 19, 2010). Kanye West: Storytellers. The A.V. Club. Retrieved December 16, 2019.
  6. ^ Young, Alex (January 20, 2010). "Kanye West | VH1 Storytellers". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved December 16, 2019.
  7. ^ a b c Greenblatt, Leah (January 4, 2010). Review: VH1 Storytellers. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 16, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c Plagenhoef, Scott (January 12, 2010). Kanye West: VH1 Storytellers Album Review. Pitchfork. Retrieved December 16, 2019.
  9. ^ a b Langager, Ross (January 11, 2010). Kanye West: VH1 Storytellers. PopMatters. Retrieved December 16, 2019.

External links[edit]