There's a point about halfway through 'On Sight', the opening track of Kanye West's new album Yeezus, where the hyper-distorted electro rave pulse cuts out and a children's gospel choir sings a line before the song flips back to a futuristic stomp. "Oh, He will give us what we need / It may not be what we want" goes the hymn, taken from a performance by the Holy Name of Mary Choral Family.

It's somewhat of a mission statement, not just for Yeezus the album, but Yeezus the person. The gospel-soul sample is a clear reference to his groundbreaking production work during the early part of the 2000s, but it's the content of the lyrics that points to the significance of this particular sample.

Throughout his career Kanye has been pop culture's easy scapegoat of celebrity excess; someone who suffers from an iconic ego larger than his delusions of grandeur. So when he drops an untreated gospel sample in the middle of his Daft Punk produced techno song, swapping the "He" of God with himself and immediately swatting the sample out of grasp, he's toying with his audience. Yeezus giveth and Yeezus taketh away.

Coming off of his career's biggest album and dropping two lukewarm collaboration albums with Jay-Z and his G.O.O.D. Music label, Yeezus has a lot more to prove than just painting Kanye as Christ arisen. For one thing, it's arguably his first record with no motivational backstory to explain its immaculate conception. From The College Dropout's chip-on-a-shoulder newcomer vibe to 808s & Heartbreak's depressive drawl fuelled by a breakup and his mother's passing, Kanye's life has been relatively quiet since 2010's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Inspiration for Yeezus comes from two places: frustration over racial issues in America and his relationship with Kim Kardashian.

At 40 minutes long, Yeezus is Kanye’s shortest album, but it also features few guest musicians compared to his previous albums, making it nearly 40 minutes of pure Kanye. The first half of the record leans more towards the former, with 'Black Skinhead', and 'New Slaves' carrying the weight of the political tenacity.

'Black Skinhead' which has drawn comparisons to Death Grips, is Kanye's most energetic and aggressive song to date, and the closest thing this album has to a commercial single. 'Can't Hold My Liquor' is a syrupy, slow house-inspired confessional that's so smooth, not even a phoned-in auto tune hook from Chief Keef can ruin it. 'New Slaves' shows Kanye becoming increasingly paranoid at the consumerist racism aimed at black Americans and himself, threatening to move his family out of the country to avoid the public eye.

'I Am a God' is going to be the track here that everyone will remember though, if not for its sacrilegious title than at least for one of the most quotable lines of the album in "Hurry up with my damn croissants!" (#2 goes to "pop a wheelie on a zeitgeist") and the primal outro featuring Kanye screaming and gasping for air. But for all of the ostentation, it's musically more minimal and humble than anything from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, taking its pitched-down stuttering vocal sample and dark sub bass from the ghostly sounds of witch house producers like Holy Other.

'I'm In It' (a jab at Ray J, perhaps?) is a warped blast of trap, vocal distortions, and explicit descriptions of sex. It's one long TMI moment, but Justin Vernon singing the hook over a trap beat and barking dog samples makes it less of a mess and more an example of the type of impressively complex eclectic music that Kanye has been able to inject into the mainstream.

"If you ever see somebody standing next to me, know that they're better than me at something," he said at a recent listening session for Yeezus. Putting underground innovators like Hudson Mohawke, Arca, and Chief Keef alongside legends and unlikely collaborators like Daft Punk, Rick Rubin, and Justin Vernon, Kanye has assembled a lineup more varied than ever before, and the result is his most progressive work to date.

But being ahead of the curve leaves you more open to wild missteps. 'Blood on the Leaves', is a mess of sampled Nina Simone crooning, auto tune, and stadium-sized horns taken from TNGHT's 'R U Ready'. It's bloated and grating, probably the most cringeworthy song in his discography since 'Bring Me Down'. The last few songs on the album (save for 'Bound '") fall into a similar bit of a slump, mostly because of the strength of the surrounding material.

Kanye has mentioned multiple times that Yeezus is his Chicago record. From the Chief Keef and King L appearances to the house, trap, and drill referencing songs, it's both his victory lap and love letter to the Windy City's music scene that he's permanently changed. King L's verse on 'Send it Up' is appropriately monotone and stoned, playing in contrast to the industrial, wailing synthesizer-driven beat. The album closes with 'Bound 2', a classic ADD-style Kanye soul sampling love letter to Kim.

Yeezus accomplishes the feat of being the counterpoint to West's entire career. It's the playful side to The College Dropout's insecurity, the minimalist to Late Registration's opulence, the neu futurist to Graduation's new wave, emotionally raw where 808s & Heartbreak was artificially hollow, precise and brief where My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was grandiose and sprawling. With every successive album, Kanye West somehow summarises his entire career while simultaneously staying years ahead of the game. Even on the rare occasions where the pieces don't come together completely, it's more endearing than disappointing.

"Right now it's a fight against the separation and constant dumbing-down of culture, and I'm standing in the middle of it. So if you know what people say are my lowest moments, those moments where I sat and saw them try to dumb down culture, and I would not allow it to happen on my clock," he said at another recent listening session. It's a portion of one of the most honest, confessional sound bytes from Kanye in years.

The idea of releasing Yeezus without an album cover or radio single was meant to draw the focus away from Kanye's personality and let the music speak for itself, but he's opened every VIP listening session with a speech. Of course it's contradictory, conceited and every other negative adjective you can think of. But if you missed it the first time around: Kanye may not always give us what we want, but he always gives us what we need.