If it’s not conventionally danceable, you’re in for a rough time with Junior. Somehow, though, Kanye’s wail from the left field is a hit, eliciting a full-blown disco freakout. She’s hearing the floorfiller behind the bassy thrum and to-the-fore tribal drums; or perhaps she’s thinking what I’m thinking and hearing K-Klass’s Italo piano riff coaxing the song on. It’s not ‘Let Me Show You’, but it’s near as dammit. ‘Love Lockdown’ is a house track in desire if not action. Junior identifies our auto-tuned singer too, pinpointing the fur-coated chap invading Estelle’s personal space on ‘American Boy’.
The new album 808s & Heartbreak has missed the boat this year, arriving too late for the critics’ lists and too near to the Christmas meltdown to be seen above the parapet. Perhaps that’s what Kanye wanted (apart from, erm, megasales – but he seems to be headed there in a less frenzied US market anyway). ‘Love Lockdown’ is a close, panicky affair in form and content, that fits nicely with the depressed, downbeat tone of a broken album. It’s a bold move for a rapper to make an album with nary a rap in earshot, but Kanye’s never been scared of flexing his ambition even while licking his wounds. He mourns his mum and tears down his ex in hurt confusion, and we’re left with a frankly great record. Someone has to come out on top, I suppose.