Whether you love him, hate him, or aren’t sure, Kanye West continued his reign as one of pop’s elite artists in 2009. Working with photographer Nabil Elderkin and introduced by an intimate interview with director Spike Jonze, West compiles his life circa 2008 into the comprehensive Glow in the Dark, cataloging his experiences chronologically using a dazzling array of hyper-color personal and concert photos, insightful captions, and a bonus CD with four backing tracks from the Glow in the Dark Tour.
Elderkin’s high-resolution photos are a real treat, printed beautifully and often spread across two pages. Jonze does his best to reach the heart of West’s divisive persona, such as getting West to reveal that he cried while playing the 2007 hit “The Good Life” during a difficult Brazil show, a sad irony considering his personal turmoil at the time. Fans of West will definitely love the sketches and backstage pictures from the immense tour, while the average pop consumer may enjoy his irreverent humor and expressive personality. Glow in the Dark might not convince you of West’s genius, but you’ll appreciate the sheer amount of labor and passion that goes into his work.