The rollout of “ye,” the eighth album from Kanye West, followed the script that has come to define new releases from the artist. First came the rumors—corroborated by photographs and collaborators—that West was at work on a new record in Wyoming. Then came his inevitable return to Twitter, always a reliable indicator that something is coming soon. For an artist notorious for logging on and off of the platform in spurts, sometimes doing both within days, the posts were fairly typical, which is to say they were wholly indecipherable: screenshots of merch from the Saint Pablo tour, some designs for an ill-advised neck tattoo, motivational-poster platitudes and … wait, Candace Owens? Dragon energy? “Mental” slavery?

Even by Kanye standards, his latest string of tirades, and the flirtation with right-wing pundits and Infowars-style talking points they entailed, was troubling for both friends and fans. By the time the promised album finally rolled around last Friday, any initial excitement had given way to exhaustion. It seems the idea of a late-night Twitter rant by a celebrity whose entire public image rests on being an unpredictable narcissist isn’t quite as fun in 2018 as it was in 2010.

So what are we to make of “ye”? After the initial controversy, I almost found myself wishing the album would be a train wreck—as if that would provide some measure of justification for all the erratic behavior, the toxic views. But for all the baggage, “ye’”s problem is a very simple one: There are no hooks. “Ye” is unwaveringly mediocre. And for the first time in his nearly-15-year career, Kanye West has produced an album that isn’t in some way unforgettable.

West’s great talent, more than rapping, singing, storytelling or fashion, has always been his role as curator, his ability to spin sublime pop moments out of the music of the past. His strategy as a crate-digger isn’t to find the most obscure sample (although he’s plenty good at that, too); rather, what sets West apart from other producers is that so many of his greatest moments borrow from music that was already famous in its own time. This is the artist who turned “I Got A Woman” into “Gold Digger,” who breathed new life into Sister Nancy’s “Bam Bam,” who had the audacity to pair Nina Simone’s rendition of “Strange Fruit” with a Hudson Mohawke beat. If you’ll spare me an easy yet apt reference, West at his best is hip-hop’s Warhol, absorbing his influences into himself, demolishing the line between creator and collaborator. But on “ye,” an album whose distinct lack of guests stands out, that piece of West’s artistry is missing.

This isn’t to say that all of Ye’s artistry is missing on “ye”; tonally, the album is West’s most concise statement since 2013’s “Yeezus,” undoubtedly assisted by its slim runtime, just seven tracks and 23 minutes. And West hasn’t flagged as a beat-maker, settling further into the minimalism—marked by distorted bass lines and sparse soul samples—he started to favor on 2016’s “The Life of Pablo.” Thankfully, too, his raps are steadier than they ever were on that album, when his preferred flow seemed to consist of simply repeating the same line over and over. (Rest assured that “Lift Yourself” doesn’t make an appearance, even if it did almost ruin an otherwise perfect Pusha T album.)

But, again, the hooks—there’s not a “Famous” or “Bound 2” or “All of the Lights” to be found. The first track, “I Thought About Killing You,” consists mostly of monologue, as discomfiting as the title suggests. The closest we get to a would-be Greatest Hits candidate is “Wouldn’t Leave,” an ode to women in bad relationships that just comes across as a half-assed “Runaway,” or perhaps “Ghost Town,” whose outro from G.O.O.D Music newcomer 070 Shake is the most interesting thing on this album (and redeems a very emo, very out-of-tune chorus from Kid Cudi). In all its brief runtime, “ye” rarely excites.

It wouldn’t be the first time that a Kanye West record has been criticized as dull. “808s & Heartbreak” famously gathered mixed reviews after its 2008 release before history redeemed it as a precursor to the sad-rap of Drake and The Weeknd, and even “The Life of Pablo” was overlong and inconsistent. But every “808s” has its “Heartless.” Time will tell where “ye” falls in the Kanye West canon, but for now, it doesn’t seem that this album has anything comparable.

For an artist who once excelled because of his control over the zeitgeist, past and present, Kanye West has never seemed more out of touch. Realistically, the same could be said for all of era of the “new Kanye”—that is, the post-“My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” capital-A Artist, Adidas-sponsored Kanye—but it feels especially pronounced on “ye,” an album whose lack of memorable moments does little to distract from its creator’s real-life behavior.

But hey, at least we have “DAYTONA.”