Today marks The Life of Pablo's debut on streaming services outside of Tidal, and as promised, the version released is refined from the original that Kanye West dropped in February. A statement from Def Jam to the New York Times confirmed the changes and beyond, saying, “In the months to come, Kanye will release new updates, new versions, and new iterations of the album. An innovative, continuous process, the album will be a living, evolving art project.”
Though many of the changes made thus far have been relatively subtle, we played both the original and latest versions of Pablo side-to-side and compiled a list of the updates Yeezy has made thus far, ranging from the obvious (Vic Mensa and Sia on “Wolves”) to questionable (looking at you, “30 Hours” outro). Check the list below and stay tuned—this is one story that doesn't have a clear end in sight.
“Ultralight Beam”: Not only are the choir parts mixed with a bit more reverb this time around, but Lil Chano From 79th gets an extra line to croon at 2:44 with “no one can judge,” originally from the Saturday Night Live performance of the track.
“Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1”: A gorgeous flux of harmonizing background vocals appear towards the end of Kanye's verse on “I wanna wake up with you.” Audiophiles may notice a bit of a more crisp beat.
“Pt. 2”: The production has been fine-tuned so that the instrumental feels more substantial and the mixing on Kanye's vocals sound less grating.
“Famous”: Rihanna's vocals are turned down a notch and the echoing on Swizz's blips is more evident. “She be Puerto Rican day parade waving” was updated to read “she in school to be a real estate agent,” and Nina Simone's vocals pop up beneath that fire Sister Nancy sample.
“Feedback”: The beat has been completely revised to sound less warped and with more of a bass presence. The overall track is a few seconds shorter.
“Low Lights”: Perhaps some subtle mixing changes, but nothing too noticeable.
“Highlights”: The backing beat is much more present. Young Thug's vocal part lends itself to a slightly less abrasive mixing.
“Freestyle 4”: An ominous instrumental briefly flares up at 0:45 and the back half of the track is substantially more synthy. There's a subtle cleaning-up on the beat.
“I Love Kanye”: No change, gratefully.
“Waves”: The undulating synths are much more noticeable, and the mixing has been revised so that the entire track sounds smoother and warmer. Kanye re-recorded his first verse and it's less buried amid the production.
“FML”: Again, the vocals are much more present on the latest iteration of this track. The inclusion of backing vocals on the second round of The Weeknd's hook especially add more depth to the song's nu-gospel vibes.
“Real Friends”: There aren't any audible changes here.
“Wolves”: The updated version re-recruits Vic Mensa and Sia for an extended cut that falls in line closer to the version that debuted at Yeezy Season 1 show and was performed on Saturday Night Live. Frank Ocean gets the boot for…
“Frank's Track”: …a separate interlude that originally appeared at the end of the first TLOP's “Wolves.”
“Siiiiiiiiiilver Surffffeeeeer Intermission”: Despite the draaaaawwwwwn out title change, this is the exact same as it originally appeared.
“30 Hours”: Kanye reverts the track to appear more like the version that first popped up on Soundcloud by tossing in a beat pause for the Victoria's Secret line. But then, in perhaps the most awkward of changes, the outro gets thrown off when the vocals and beat don't align like they did in the original, slightly disrupting the track's flow. And, in case you were wondering, still no full verse from André 3000.
“No More Parties In LA”: No more changes in LA.
“Facts (Charlie Heat Version)”: None here, either.
“Fade”: Many of the quirks and embellishments buried in the production of the original, such as the chopped vocal sample, are nixed in favor of a more minimal backing track. Kanye does give this version a proper outro, however, allowing the album to end with a triumphant “I can feel it,” rather than midway through a groove.