Kanye West was, quite frankly, more interesting a year ago. Sure, good on him for marrying Kim for what seems like the seventh time in a few years, but to music fans the lead-up to his internet-smashing Yeezus far trumps any gossip about any Kimye scandals and photo shoots. Remember the New York Times interview in which he called himself "the Michael Jordan of music?" When he said, "I am undoubtedly, you know, Steve [Jobs] of Internet, downtown, fashion, culture?" The media circus leading up to Yeezus showed a Kanye completely removed from the seemingly self-aware Kanye of years past. It was absurd, really - no one could seem to reconcile the Kanye of the absolutely gorgeous 'Runaway' and the Kanye of quotes like "I'm the No. 1 living and breathing rock star. I am Axl Rose; I am Jim Morrison; I am Jimi Hendrix."

And then, of course, Yeezus dropped. To say critics loved it would be an understatement - just look at our glowing review. People (including myself) simply adored the album. It was Kanye being Kanye in a way Kanye had never been Kanye before. It was minimalist, abrasive, crude, sacrilegious, and offensive to the extreme, showing West channeling every one of the album's disparate influences into a harsh, glaring spotlight on himself. The juxtaposition of arrogant, incendiary lyricism and paranoid, insecure beats earned it the adulation of many - adulation it accrued even before its official release (remember the whole kerfuffle when it leaked?). It was something special enough to win the kind of ridiculous anti-hype backlash only seen with absolutely huge cultural events, elevated to a podium only shared in 2013 by Daft Punk, Arcade Fire, and (arguably) Justin Timberlake. There's no way around it: Yeezus was huge.

What happened to the album? Sure, Kanye toured, selling out arenas and amphitheaters everywhere, making waves with his Confederate Flag merch and 'Runaway' monologues. Sure, "Hurry up with my damn croissants" became the musical meme of the year, inspiring fantastic responses like this video. Sure, the album's discussion flared up once again around the end of the year, countless album-of-the-year lists igniting countless comments worth of discussion. But come 2014 - not even a year removed from its release date - Yeezus is completely out of our collective radar. A Google Trends search shows that the term "yeezus" is searched at approximately a quarter of the rate today as it was at the end of 2013, and one-fiftieth as often as the days around its release. ("kanye west," no doubt borne aloft by his impending marriage, is still going strong.)

Maybe it's a little silly to compare Yeezus discussions today to how they were almost a year ago. The album is obviously no longer the focal point of today's music culture, and since none of the songs were remotely close to radio-friendly we haven't received the same kind of gentle prodding to go listen as we might with an Icona Pop or Avicii tune still in top-40 radio's general rotation. And while it's true that there really hasn't been a hip-hop release as ground-shaking yet this year (Piñata, however good, doesn't even come close), Yeezus is already almost a whole year old - it's old hat at this point. Plus, who has time for Kanye the musician when Kanye the personality is getting married and the Internet (no doubt fuelled by the West media machine) is spreading scandalous rumours about wedding celebrations and Ray J and what have you?

I guess that this is where I'm a little skeptical about the absolute benefits of being connected to iTunes or Spotify or Soulseek at all times. I grew up in the Internet age, and I haven't used a cassette ever since I wrecked the family car's cassette player when I was five, don't have the budget to buy a decent record player, and procure CDs solely for the purpose of downloading them to my digital music library. That being said, it's just a bit disheartening that an album with as much seeming cultural impact as Yeezus - an album I loved as much as Yeezus - is completely gone from the Internet's eye so soon. I'm a product of the current culture of listening to an album you love for maybe a month and then discarding it in favor of the next big thing, and usually actively participate in it, but I thought Yeezuswas different. Kanye was so arrogant, so eccentric, so musically gifted, that I thought he might have been able to keep the album in the spotlight for longer than he did.

"When was the last time you listened to an album you kind of liked a year after it came out? Hell, how much of your listening time is made up of albums that are over two months old and aren't some of your favourite releases of all time?"

Granted, he tried his best. The incessant hyping of the Yeezus tour film and the firestorm the 'Bound 2' video sparked are ample proof of the media wizardry of Kanye's team. But it does say something about how inundated we are as Internet users that the album has gotten lost in the shuffle. And, obviously, Kanye's kept himself pretty well-highlighted in the entertainment world. Again, the man knows how to market himself, and as soon as "Yeezus" left everyone's lips "Kimye" replaced it almost immediately. He's made a living off of staying relevant, and at this point he's pretty damn good at it - of course, it helps that his production skills are top-notch, his artistic spirit always burns bright, and his flamboyant yet carefully manicured personality can fill in where his musical talent fails him.

But in the transience of today's free-download and TwitPic culture, even something as purportedly culturally significant as Yeezus fades quickly. When was the last time you listened to it? January? October? Two weeks after it came out? When was the last time you listened to an album you kind of liked a year after it came out? Hell, how much of your listening time is made up of albums that are over two months old and aren't some of your favourite releases of all time?

If you're like me (and as a decent music fan myself I like to think of my own responses as a sort of litmus test for the general coverage-site-reading populace), most of the answers you gave probably weren't answers you were very pleased to give. I've got my headphones in almost constantly, and I still don't give most albums I listen to a fair chance - I've simply got too much to listen to. And while that specific cultural critique has been broached countless times, there's always been an implicit understanding that when an Important Album is released, the Internet will give it its fair due of attention. It's the only shred of hope we can cling to: big albums just have to be good for everyone. They'll get clicks for websites and sales for record companies and they'll provide a social experience of sharing an individualized experience - that is, people will listen, and people will talk about what they heard. The average Important Album, as with all cultural phenomena, is supposed to connect people - Yeezus should be discussed around the water cooler, at the dinner table, even with Grandma, damn it. Spread the word, people! A guy like Kanye West doesn't come around every day!

"One of the things that makes music - and art in general - so special is that it's never really finished. You can complete a book and you can listen to an album all the way through, but you can always go back and revisit what you've ostensibly put behind you, almost always experiencing something new in the process. "

And, obviously, all this happened to Yeezus at one point. And now it's not happening anymore. It was an Important Album, but now it's just another bumper release from Kanye West. Years later, when cultural critics look back at Kanye's career, I'm not totally sure how they'll treat the album. The classic artists of the record-buying heyday of the '60s and '70s - The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Led Zeppelin - released albums that have become linchpins in the fabric of our culture - I'm not sure anyone can say they've never heard of 'Stairway to Heaven'. With the artists who'll most likely be regarded as classics come thirty or forty years - a group of which Kanye is almost certainly a part - it's unclear how important or widespread the music itself will be. Will people even have time to listen to Kanye West in thirty years? As much as Kanye like to think so, it's absolutely unclear.

That's where we stand, I guess. A year ago, we rejoiced in Kanye's Steve Jobs remarks and in the sonic brilliance of the instrumental solo of 'Hold My Liquor'. Now, the whole son-of-God media circus has been filed away somewhere in our minds, and it'll probably remain there at least until the next big West musical enterprise comes about, the next Important Album with Kanye's name on it. We're still looking and looking for new music, the freshest beats, synths, and guitars on which we can stamp our oh-so-special seal of approval for the week before moving on. One of the things that makes music - and art in general - so special is that it's never really finished. You can complete a book and you can listen to an album all the way through, but you can always go back and revisit what you've ostensibly put behind you, almost always experiencing something new in the process.

The reason so many of our current cultural artifacts have survived so long is that this revisiting process continues to occur hundreds of years after the artist put the final daub of paint on the canvas. With Yeezus, and albums of its ilk, no one knows if people years from now will reexamine the massive artistic events happening now. As Kid Cudi asks on 'Guilt Trip', "If you loved me so much then why'd you let me go?" In the case of Yeezus, it's because we can't love it enough to keep it.